Facet joint syndrome is treated with steroid injections into the facet joints, physical therapy, the use of braces and anti-inflammatory drugs, according to Cedars-Sinai. More severe cases of facet joint syndrome may require a rhizotomy to cut the posterior or anterior spinal nerve roots.
General symptoms of facet joint syndrome include stiffness and pain resulting in mobility issues with getting out of a chair or standing straight, explains Cedars-Sinai. Individuals with facet joint syndrome may also walk hunched over and have to turn the entire body left or right to look. The location of the affected joint, including which nerve roots are impacted, determine the specific symptoms.
Facet hypertrophy is a condition linked to facet joint syndrome wherein the facet joint becomes too enlarged and swollen, advises Cedars-Sinai. The openings through which the nerve roots pass are sometimes blocked, resulting in a pinched nerve.
An anti-inflammatory or anesthetic is injected into the joint to make the diagnosis, details Cedars-Sinai. The condition is diagnosed as facet joint syndrome if the injection immediately relives the pain.
The connections between spine bones are called facets, notes Cedars-Sinai. Nerve roots get to different areas of the body by passing through the facet joints from the spinal cord. Facet joints also prevent the back from twisting without limits or slipping forward too far forward, and they allow the spine to twist and bend.