Therapy and surgery are two effective options for treatment of facet joint arthrosis, or osteoarthritis, according to Spine-health. The conservative approach focuses on pain relief through a series of progressively more aggressive therapy. Surgical treatment is rarely needed but is an option if conservative treatment does not control the pain.
Conservative treatment includes intermittent periods of rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers and corticosteroids, explains Spine-health. Proper body mechanics and sleep positions, as well as heat and cold treatment, physical therapy, water therapy and traction are potential approaches. Additional options are strengthening, aerobic exercise and chiropractic treatment. Injections of a steroid medication or anesthetic are used if other conservative treatments do not provide relief.
Two surgical procedures are possible if conservative treatment does not control the pain, notes About.com. Facet rhizotomy involves severing a small nerve that goes to the facet joint. Surgical fusion of two vertebrae prevents movement of the facet joint to eliminate pain.