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Facet Disease


The facet joints in the spine are what allow the vertebrae to stay flexible. There is a facet joint on either side of a vertebra. Surrounded with a lubricated articular cartilage, these facet joints are regularly in motion. They wear and tear just like the other joints in the body, causing them to degenerate. The facet disease is considered when the facet joints are deteriorating, and in turn limit excessive motion to help stabilize the spine.

Causes of Facet Disease

Wear, tear, injury, or aging of the cartilage in joints is what causes facet disease. Another cause of this disease is spondylolisthesis, which is when a vertebra slips from another vertebra.

Symptoms of Facet Disease

Symptoms related to this condition normally occur in the cervical, lumbar, and thoracic areas. They are frequently contained to the extent of the facet joint. A person can experience lower back pain when the facets are affected in the lumbar area. This pain can also extend to the upper thigh and buttocks. Pain can occur in the back of the neck and shoulders if the cervical area is affected.

Diagnosis of Facet Disease

CT and MRI scans are beneficial when diagnosing facet disease. The most common aid to diagnosing facet disease is simply clinical diagnosis. Radiographic findings can only rule it out; it cannot confirm the disease.

Treatment of Facet Disease

Surgery can benefit patients with facet disease. Specifically, arthroscopic surgery is considered to have fewer complications and reduced pain than open back surgery.

Why Choose Become Pain Free?

From chiropractors to pain management specialists to expert spine surgeons, Become Pain Free can help get rid of your pain so you can get your life back on track. To learn more about how we can help, fill out the form on the right or call 888-373-3720. We'll connect you with the right specialist so you can stop living in pain.Call Become Pain Free... your pain solution.

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Posture and Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain is a miserable experience. Although some cases of neck pain are caused by an injury, many are simply due to poor posture. Poor posture stresses the muscles of the neck and can cause muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. Over time, the stresses of poor posture on the neck can cause degenerative diseases to develop in the discs and bones of the neck. Forward head A very commonly seen posture that puts a lot of strain on the neck is the forward head. The individual habitually thrusts the head forward, carrying it out in front of the shoulders. In this position, the weight of the head is constantly pulling on the spine and the shoulders. Sitting for hours hunched over a desk or a computer is a common cause of forward head. Many people with this habitual forward head carriage suffer from sore shoulders as well as a sore neck. Over time, the vertebrae at the base of the neck (C5 and C6) can develop painful degenerative conditions due to the constant weight of the head pulling on them in the forward head posture. Correct posture A correct posture is one that keeps the spine in alignment. Some people call it a neutral or balanced posture. One exercise to encourage a neutral posture is to focus on opening the chest wide as you try to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Once your chest is open, bring your head into alignment. Think of a string pulling up the top of your head and lengthening the neck. When you do this, your chin will tuck in and your head will naturally shift into proper alignment with your spine. Do the open chest/ string exercise multiple times a day. Other exercises to build better posture are head nods and chin tucks. To do a head nod, slowly nod your head slightly up and down without moving your neck. To do chin tucks, tip your nose down toward the ground and move the top of your head backwards. Repeat head nods and chin tucks several times a day. These exercises strengthen the muscles on the front of the neck. Individuals with habitual forward head posture usually have very weak muscles in the front of the neck. If you've worked hard at correcting your posture and you are still suffering from neck pain, why not give us a call?

Note: The information on this Web site is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither BPF Specialty Hospital, or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this Web site.