Facet Joint Disease/Syndrome

What is a facet joint?

The facet joint a special angled joint located between each of your vertebrae.  The joint allows movement between each vertebrae and stops excessive movement or over twisting of your spine. Each joint is made up of a slippery cartilage and imbedded with a rich supply of nerves.

What causes your facet joints not to work?

As we age, facet joints wear out, resulting in boney changes called osteoarthritis.  Sometimes, the joint loses its’ lubrication, leading to bone rubbing bone.  The lack of smooth movement in the joint results in a bone spurs forming and causing inflammation.

What does facet joint pain feel like?

You may experience intermittent, unexplainable pain – that usually focused in the low back and lateral to your spine.  Pain can occur with leaning backwards, increases with sitting, standing and riding in a car.

The most common location for facet pain is low back and neck.

Depending on the facet joint location:

  • Lumbar facet pain can radiated down the buttock and leg – through rarely radiates beyond the knee.
  • Cervical facet pain can radiate into the shoulder and upper back, can radiated into the front of the chest or down the arm into fingers.

What causes your pain?

When you facet joint doesn’t function correctly, inflammation occurs and surrounding nerves become aggravated, resulting in pain and spasms.

How does acupuncture help with facet pain?

Acupuncture treats the facet joint by needling alongside the facet joint being effected.  This will help to change the signaling of the nerves (surrounding the facet joint), encourage muscles to relax, and decrease inflammation.  If a series of distal muscles are in pain, they too are needled.  Example:  you have a facet joint at L5/S1 with pain radiating down the leg.  Your treatment would involve:  needling alongside the facet joint, needling in glut muscles, hamstring and calf muscle.  The goal is to change the pain signaling at your facet joint, calming the pain messages between your spine, brain and muscles.

Acupuncture treatment gives direct pain relief, so you can move and feel better.

Call (914) 572-5137 today or click here to schedule an appointment & learn more about how we can help you with your pain relief.