Facet syndrome of the lumbar, cervical and shoulder symptoms and treatment

Facet syndrome as a result of disorders in joints and bones

Facet syndrome (facet joint syndrome) is a disorder that is characterized by pathological changes in the tissues of the intervertebral (facet) joints. This syndrome accompanies arthritis and in the course of the disease occur lesions of the intervertebral discs not only, but also of the vertebrae, and other nearby tissues.

This disease suffer 85-90 people out of a hundred elderly. However, the syndrome can begin to develop much earlier, 30-35 years, if a person is suffering congenital abnormalities of the spine.

The pathogenesis and mechanism of development

The disease affects all the components of the joints of the spine (cartilage, ligaments, muscles) and this causes pain. What happens to the spine affected by this violation?

Speaking about the function of the spine, it should be noted that the appointment of the vertebrae, discs and the anterior cruciate ligament is to resist the force of gravity. And role protection against displacement is given to the intervertebral joints, discs, and transverse and spinous processes. The distribution of the force of gravity is: about 80% are anterior of the spine, the joints — up to 20%.

When facet syndrome affects the intervertebral discs, the distance between the vertebrae changes in the smaller side and due to this increased load. Should the emergence of microtrauma and degenerative changes in the joints.

The mobility of the spine is limited, and the pain appear.

Why there is facet syndrome?

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Facet syndrome is not a separate disease, and occurs most often as a consequence of various disorders of bone, joint and cartilage tissue, or after injuries. The reasons for the development of the syndrome may be:

  • the presence of diseases associated with disorder of metabolic processes (e.g., gout and psevdopodagra);
  • chronic inflammation on the background of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis);
  • degenerative changes in joints and violation of nutrition of tissues (for example, when spondylosis);
  • the presence of tuberculous spondylitis and other systemic infectious diseases;
  • subluxations, micro-fractures, rupture of the capsules and cartilage in the joints.
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As a rule, the violation of develops slowly, but some types of injuries, often sports, the syndrome can develop much faster.

Localization in the spine

Because of the anatomical features of the structure of the spine facet syndrome may be localized in the following areas:

  • cervical — 55%;
  • the area of lumbar Department — 30%;
  • less pain syndrome is manifested in the shoulder and the gluteal region, pain may radiate to the head and limbs.

Pain in facet syndrome is intensified in the process of flexion of the limb when extension is also characterized by their reduction.

As a rule, the pain spread to the elbow and popliteal fossae. Often there is morning stiffness in the spine and extremities.

The clinical picture

The main symptoms of facet syndrome are:

  • the pain in the damaged joints, and partial loss of the elasticity of the muscles in the back;
  • acute pain unpredictable nature in the dorsal and cervical;
  • discomfort when bending, and the slope back is causing more discomfort than the forward bend;
  • the localization of the syndrome in the cervical spine the pain may radiate to the shoulder and upper back, sometimes reaching to the hands;
  • if changes occur in the lumbar spine, there is discomfort in sitting position, and the more time a person spends sitting, the more painful the feeling is stronger and spasms in the muscles.

Interestingly, it is impossible to predict what power, frequency and duration will be bouts of pain. It can appear suddenly and as suddenly to pass.

Diagnostic methods

To diagnose facet syndrome can be viewed from a specialist based on the patient’s complaints, and using different diagnostic methods.

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This files most often assigned to conduct x-ray study that allows you to determine what reasons caused the pain.

If the survey in an x-ray does not give a full picture of the disease, used computed tomography (CT). This method is aimed at a detailed study of the affected area of the spine.

The effectiveness of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in identifying facet syndrome is low, however, this method is indispensable in cases of suspected injuries of the spine or disc herniation.

The complex of therapeutic measures

The main goal of treatment for facet syndrome is to rid the patient of painful episodes and normalization processes and tissues of the spine. Apply both conservative and surgical methods of treatment.

Conservative treatment

The basis of the method is conservative medical therapy and physiotherapy. Taking medications can significantly reduce pain and improve the patient’s quality of life.

In the treatment of the syndrome, appropriate use of such medicines:

  • Ortofen;
  • Nurofen;
  • Ibuprofen;
  • Diclofenac;
  • Celebrex.

The drug is prescribed in pill form and injections, gels and ointments in such cases is ineffective. These medicines reduce acute and chronic pain, sometimes for quite a long time, and aims to combat inflammation in the spine.

Physiotherapy is also designed to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

If you have problems with the spine effective therapeutic exercise. A specially selected complex of exercises helps to restore the biomechanics, the formation of correct posture, strengthen the muscles and ligaments.

Also used manual therapy, which aims to reduce pain and to restore mobility in the affected parts of the spine.

In addition to these methods we recommend wearing a cervical collar, use of orthopedic pillows and frequent rest breaks, especially if the patient to have the most time to spend sitting. Often conservative methods of treatment have a positive effect, but severe cases require surgical intervention.

The method of radiofrequency denervation

As a surgical treatment for facet joint syndrome is applied, the method of radiofrequency denervation. It is the elimination of the pathological changes by electromagnetic influences on the affected joints.

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In most cases when carrying out this procedure does not require General anesthesia, also no need for incisions in the skin. The operation lasts about half an hour, after which the patient is able to leave hospital the same day.

Just like any disease, facet syndrome requires urgent and adequate treatment at the first signs of discomfort in the cervical or waist part of the spine should immediately seek help from professionals.

Self-treatment or ignoring symptoms can lead to a number of unpleasant complications. Pathologic processes will progress, which will entail different kinds of serious disorders in the musculoskeletal system, the consequences of which are unpredictable.

How to protect yourself?

With manifestations of a facet syndrome have to face about 80% of people of all ages. For this reason, to talk about how to eliminate the possibility of its occurrence entirely, is not necessary.

However, you can greatly delay the onset and reduce the intensity of pathological processes. To keep the spine healthy for many years is possible if the following suggestions:

  • lead an active lifestyle;
  • daily exercise;
  • access to the pool;
  • to walk more;
  • to avoid injuries of the spine.

It is important to remember that any disease is easier to prevent than to treat, and not to neglect prevention.