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Chiropractic Care for Facet Joint Syndrome

Published Date: 
September 18, 2023
Senior man with back pain using a cane.

Chiropractic care is one of the most effective treatments for treating lumbar facet syndrome. Whether you’ve developed mild symptoms that could be signs of things to come or you’re dealing with significant pain due to facet problems, chiropractic treatments can help.

Introduction to Lumbar Facet Syndrome and Its Symptoms

Lumbar facet syndrome is a type of arthritis. It affects the joints in the lumbar spine in the lower back. Over time, especially when there is extra weight on the spine, wear and tear causes gradual deterioration of these joints. Eventually, lumbar facet syndrome develops.

Facet joint syndrome symptoms can also appear in the cervical spine (cervical facet syndrome). Symptoms of both cervical and lumbar facet joint syndrome include:

The following play a role in how likely someone is to develop lumbar facet syndrome:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Poor posture
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Trauma
  • Torn ligaments
  • Spinal fractures
  • Sudden stretching
  • Repetitive bending and stretching
A young woman is hunched over in a chair looking down at a laptop on her lap.

Initial Assessment and Diagnosis

The diagnosis process for lumbar facet syndrome might include the following:

  • X-rays
  • CT scan or MRI scan of the spine
  • Postural assessment
  • Hands-on inspection
  • Range of motion tests
  • Neurological exam
  • Kemp test
  • Electromyography and nerve conduction studies (EMG/NCS)
  • Anesthetic injection into the affected facet joint, sometimes with cortisone, to reduce inflammation

Chiropractic Treatment Techniques for Facet Syndrome

Chiropractic care is a safe and reliable treatment option for relieving the pain associated with facet syndrome. Treatments restore mobility and flexibility and provide pain relief.

Chiropractors use the following to treat lumbar facet syndrome:

Spinal Adjustments and Manipulations

Adjustments increase the movement of the vertebra. A chiropractic adjustment relieves pressure on the facet joints by moving the vertebra. This helps to restore mobility to the joints and reduces back and neck pain.

Chiropractic adjustments also increase blood flow to the affected joint. This reduces swelling and inflammation.

Soft Tissue Therapy

Massage, primarily when combined with heat therapy, reduces muscle spasms and pain in the area affected by lumbar facet syndrome. Massage also provides pain relief, relaxation, and stress relief.

Soft tissue therapy can also strengthen and stretch your lumbar spine, so it’s as strong and flexible as possible.

Lifestyle Modifications to Complement Chiropractic Care

There are several things you can do to enhance your chiropractic treatment.

Correct posture and spine alignment are essential to spinal health and can decrease spinal pain. Making sure you stand and stretch throughout the day is also essential.

Body weight is also important. Losing weight is one of the best ways to reduce stress on the affected joint and ease chronic pain.

Maintaining a Healthy Spine to Prevent Further Issues

There are several things you can do to maintain a healthy spine and prevent issues with spinal health:

  • Stay active
  • Stretch and strengthen your back
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid inflammatory foods
  • Don’t smoke
  • Get adequate quality sleep
  • Practice good lifting techniques
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stand when possible
  • Practice good posture
  • Try yoga or other stretching exercises
  • Seek help for spinal health issues as soon as possible
Young woman meditating with proper spine in alignment.

Exercises and Stretches

Exercises and stretches that support spinal health include:

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Facet Syndrome

Chiropractic treatments are a safe, natural option for treating lumbar facet syndrome. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatment options. The benefits of using chiropractic care for treating facet syndrome include the following:

  • Effective
  • Drug-free
  • Increase the movement of vertebrae
  • Relieves pressure
  • Reduces pain

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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