Facet osteoarthritis: condition that affects the joints of the spine
The treatment of Facet Osteoarthritis should be focused mainly on lifestyle changes that slow the progression of joint wear.
The Facet Osteoarthritis It is a degenerative condition that affects the joints of the spine which are located at the back of the spine and are made up of small articular surfaces that slide against each other to allow movement of the spine.
The wear and tear of the cartilage in these joints wears down over time, causing friction between the bones. This can cause inflammation, pain and stiffness in the spine.
Some of the risk factor’s of Facet Osteoarthritis include:
- Advanced age
- Genetic predisposition
- Repetitive trauma to the spine
Symptoms that may occur
The Facet Osteoarthritis It can cause a variety of symptoms that can occur in different intensity and duration. The most common symptoms include:
- Back pain: The pain is usually located in the lumbar area. The pain is often worse when trying to get up after sitting for a long time and may improve after taking a few steps.
- Rigidity: may be more noticeable in the morning and improve with movement
- Muscle spasms: Back muscles may become tight and spasm as a result of Facet Osteoarthritis.
- Pain that radiates to the lateral thigh region or gluteal region
Treatment to follow
The treatment of Facet Osteoarthritis It should be focused mainly on lifestyle changes that reduce the rate of progression of joint wear, this includes:
- Weight control
- Regular low-impact physical exercise
- Daily muscle stretching
Pharmacological management can be performed focused on pain improvement and/or muscle relaxation, seeking to enable the patient to perform the procedure more efficiently. Physical therapy.
Sometimes we complement pharmacological management with other non-pharmacological management that includes Physical therapy, Hydrotherapy or management by complementary medicines.
In selected cases, injection of local anesthetic and corticosteroids can be performed in the nerves that provide sensitivity to said joint. These blocks have a diagnostic and sometimes therapeutic purpose.
After positive diagnostic blocks You can perform a procedure called Radiofrequency on the nerves that provide sensitivity to the joint, to try to achieve more prolonged pain relief.
Can Facet Osteoarthritis be prevented?
It is not possible to completely prevent Facet Osteoarthritis, as it is a degenerative condition associated with aging and natural wear and tear of the spine. However, Steps can be taken to reduce the risk of developing this condition or to slow its progress.
Some of the preventive and lifestyle measures that can help are:
- a healthy weight: Obesity can increase stress and pressure on the joints of the spine, which can contribute to wear and tear and degeneration of the facet joints.
- Good posture: Good posture can help reduce stress on the spine and minimize wear and degeneration of the facet joints
- Good spine health: Regular exercise, moderate physical activity, and practicing yoga, Pilates, or strengthening exercises can help maintain spinal health and reduce the risk of developing Facet Osteoarthritis.
- Avoid injuries to the spine: Injuries to the spine can increase the risk of developing Facet Osteoarthritis, so it is important to take measures to avoid injuries, such as wearing appropriate protective equipment when playing sports and performing high-impact physical activities.