Facet arthritis is a condition that occurs in the spine of the patient, which involves the compression of one or more nerves due to arthritic inflammation. The facet joints are the small joints of the spine that connect each vertebra and allow the spine to display the amount of functional flexibility patients rely on. There is a facet joint on each side of the spine, with the spinal nerve roots projecting through them. Arthritic inflammation within these may cause compression resulting in pain. In some cases, it may result in weakness or a feeling of numbness in one or more of the limbs. Patients who are suffering from arthritic complications within the facet joints have a number of viable treatment options. Medication Medication is the first line of treatments with Los Angeles Pain Management Doctors for patients with this condition, and is given to provide both pain relief and an
anti-inflammatory effect. A patient may be able to avoid the need for other treatments if medication is administered to the condition while it is still in the early stages. For individuals with acute exacerbations of pain due to facet arthritis, short term narcotics may provide exceptional benefit. Physical therapy Physical therapy is suggested for patients in order to strengthen the muscles of the lower back. When the spine has better muscular support, there is less weight supported by the facet joints. This reduces wear and tear on them and can help reduce the chance of arthritic damage occurring. Maintaining a Healthy weight Similarly to above, weight loss can help reduce the load placed on the jointsl. For some patients, losing as little as ten pounds can be enough of a load reduction to provide pain relief for their facet joints. Injections Injections can provide direct pain relief to an area. Here are the different types of injections:
- Facet Injections – LA and Long Beach pain management doctors perform these cortisone injections into the painful facet joints, and they may provide months of relief at a time.
- Medial Branch Blocks – these injections of numbing medicine and cortisone are
performed in the around around the joint to provide relief and also help diagnose the particular joint as the source of the problem. Studies have shown the average duration of pain relief to be 3 months with a medial branch block.
- Radiofrequency Ablation – an RFA for facet arthritis has been one of the most revolutionary procedures for pain relief in this century. The procedure is low risk, high benefit, and may provide 12 to 18 months of neck or back pain relief from the painful facet joints. When it wears off, studies show repeating the procedure may provide just as much benefit.
If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic neck or back pain, it may be due to facet arthritis. Pain management doctors in Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach and surrounding areas offer comprehensive nonoperative treatment for facet arthritis. The CA Pain Network connects those in pain with pain management Los Angeles respects.
Call (310) 626-1526 for more information and scheduling today!