Every portion of the spine, other than the top vertebrae, is made up or intervertebral discs, which are designed to cushion the spine, facet joints which allow twisting in the neck and lower portion of the back, and the vertebral body. Any portion of the spine can be subject to back joint problems. The joints are designed to stabilize the spine and protect it from twisting and stretching, and any kind of motion that excessive. The spinal column is designed for movement to a certain extent, and excessive motion in any direction may cause back joint problems.
The facet joints move almost constantly and when they become worn down or degenerate over time, they can cause back joint problems which may cause chronic pain and discomfort. When facet joints wear out, the cartilage can get thin or deteriorate so it’s no longer present, and back joint problems are the result. When this happens, arthritis may become an issue, since the joints may become inflamed, causing pain. When the cartilage is gone, the bone may develop spurs and the joints can get enlarged. This is what causes osteoarthritis. Movement becomes a problem and causes considerable pain. This type of arthritis is also known as facet joint syndrome or facet joint disease.
The back joint problems associated with facet joint syndrome are not only painful, but can cause severe muscle spasms. When back joint problems that are due to facet joint disease become severe, the posture is out of alignment. However, this is not a condition that can be corrected with a chiropractic adjustment. The treatment for the back joint problems associated with facet joint syndrome must be directed at relaxing the muscles so spasms don’t occur.
Most of the time, back joint problems that are associated with facet joint disease don’t involve the nerves in the spine. Diagnosis of the back joint problems if facet joint syndrome is suspected can be difficult, since sometimes the symptoms can be very similar to a fracture, a herniated disc, or a severely torn muscle. The cause of the pain with back joint problems can also be related to a form of arthritis, so an accurate diagnosis must be made in order to effectively treat the pain. Anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed. Physical therapy and moderate exercise can also be prescribed, as well as applying heat to alleviate the pain. Changes in the daily routine may also be necessary in order to prevent severe pain.