Spinal Facet Syndrome

Blue Ridge Pain & Spine Associates

Pain Management Specialists located in Salem, VA & Christiansburg, VA

As you get older, your risk for spinal facet syndrome increases. This arthritis-like condition can result in chronic, debilitating pain without proper treatment. At Blue Ridge Pain & Spine Associates, with offices in Salem, Christiansburg, and Roanoke, Virginia, the experienced pain management specialists tailor a custom treatment plan to meet your needs, with the goal of both short-term and long-term pain relief. Find out more about pain management options for spinal facet syndrome today by calling the office or booking an appointment using the online system.

Spinal Facet Syndrome Q & A

What is spinal facet syndrome?

Spinal facet syndrome develops when the small joints between your vertebrae, known as the facet joints, become inflamed.

The facet joints provide your spine with flexibility and stability, and inflammation in these joints can leave you in chronic pain and make it difficult for you to walk, sit, or perform other movements. For some, the pain can be severe enough to lead to disability if left untreated.

What causes spinal facet syndrome?

Spinal facet syndrome is more common as you get older. The protective cartilage that protects your facet joints wears away, causing your vertebrae to rub together.

You may also develop spinal facet syndrome as your spinal discs begin to wear down and even collapse. This collapse causes a loss of space between your vertebrae, which affects the positioning of your facet joints.

Other risk factors for spinal facet syndrome include:

  • Injury
  • Obesity
  • Bone spurs

In addition to pain from the bones rubbing together, you may develop chronic pain due to compression on the spinal nerves from collapsed vertebrae or bone spurs.

What are the symptoms of spinal facet syndrome?

In addition to chronic pain, spinal facet syndrome causes mobility issues, making it difficult for you to bend or twist your spine.

If the affected vertebrae are in your cervical spine (neck), you may have a limited range of motion in your neck, unable to look right or left without turning your entire body.

Other symptoms of spinal facet syndrome include numbness and muscle weakness. You may also experience pain that radiates into your hands and feet.

What treatments are available for spinal facet syndrome?

There are several pain management options for spinal facet syndrome that provide both short-term and long-term relief of pain and improvement in your range of motion.

A facet nerve block is an injectable procedure that delivers anti-inflammatory and anesthetic medicines directly into your facet joint. Treatment numbs the nerves to address pain and alleviates swelling to increase your functionality.

Another common treatment for spinal facet syndrome is a rhizotomy, an ablation procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to destroy nerves surrounding your facet joints. Your Blue Ridge Pain & Spine Associates physician can perform either a cervical rhizotomy for spinal facet syndrome in the neck or a lumbar rhizotomy for facet joint pain in the lower back.

Learn more about the right treatment options for your spinal facet syndrome pain today by calling the office nearest you or using the online booking feature.