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    An Overview of Facet Syndrome

    Last updated 5 years ago

    The vertebrae in the spine are connected by facet joints. Two of these joints are located between each vertebra, on either side. They serve to support and stabilize the spine, and to provide greater mobility. Facet syndrome, also called facet disease or facet hypertrophy, refers to degeneration of these critical joints. A problem with the facet joints can lead to significant back pain. If you experience back pain, see a pain management doctor. Keep reading to learn what to expect if your pain management doctor diagnoses you with facet syndrome.

    Typical Symptoms

    Back pain that occurs from facet syndrome is typically localized to the area of the degenerated joint, which may be in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar regions of the spine. If the degenerated joint is in the lumbar area, you may experience lower back pain accompanied by discomfort in the buttocks and thigh. Facet syndrome in a cervical joint can cause radiating pain around the neck and shoulders. You may also experience significant stiffness that interferes with your mobility and posture.

    Causes and Risk Factors

    The most common causes of facet syndrome include physical trauma to the area, arthritis, and repetitive strain injuries. Vertebral slippage, or spondylolisthesis, is another potential cause. In addition to advanced age, risk factors for this condition can include genetics. Your pain management doctor may also ask you about your level of physical activity.

    Treatment Options

    The treatment for facet syndrome is often the same as the diagnostic method: facet joint injections. Your pain management doctor may inject a medication directly into the joint to numb it. If the injection relieves your pain, the doctor has successfully pinpointed the source of your discomfort. Depending on your specific condition and needs, your doctor may recommend additional treatment methods, such as physical therapy or bracing.

    The doctors at Pain Specialists of Orange County are dedicated to providing unparalleled patient care in a comfortable environment. Our board certified pain management doctors will personalize a treatment plan that’s right for your needs. Please contact us at (888) 699-1334 to schedule an appointment with our locations in Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, or Irvine.

    Got Back Pain? [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Do you frequently experience back pain that just won’t quit? If so, you’re not alone. An estimated 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given moment. Back pain is more than a nuisance—it can interfere with your daily activities and may even result in missing time at work. If you have back pain, there are certain activities you should avoid so that you don’t make your pain worse. Heavy lifting, twisting, and collisions should be avoided, which may mean taking time off from hobbies such as golf. Talk to your pain management doctor if you have questions about what you can do to improve your back pain. You can also take a look at this infographic from Pain Specialists of Orange County in Irvine to see what activities can actually make your back pain worse. Please share with your friends and family!

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    Treatment of Sciatica Pain

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Sciatica typically occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed, leading to pain that travels from your lower back, through your buttocks, and down a leg. There is no standard method of treating sciatica pain for every patient; rather, your pain management doctor will try to determine the underlying cause of your condition to customize a treatment plan that’s right for you. Some people may benefit from modifying their activities to avoid compressing and irritating the nerve, while others can work with a physical therapist to learn exercises and stretches to reduce their symptoms.

    Your pain management doctor may also prescribe injected medications to alleviate your sciatica pain. Your doctor may recommend a series of three injections at two-week intervals. In addition to your injections, you may benefit from chiropractic care. If you have a severe case of sciatica, your doctor may refer you to a spine surgeon.

    Explore your range of treatment options with the experts of Pain Specialists of Orange County. You can reach one of our locations in Laguna Hills, Irvine, or Mission Viejo by calling (888) 699-1334.


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