Facet arthrosis is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage around the facet joints deteriorates, according to the Laser Spine Institute. Severe facet arthrosis occurs when damage to the cartilage is advanced. Facet joints are located in the spine and connect vertebrae together with help from cartilage and synovial membranes.
Facet joint arthrosis is also commonly referred to as facet joint osteoarthritis, indicates the Laser Spine Institute. Symptoms of facet joint arthrosis may include lower back pain, decreased spinal flexibility, stiffness, or the feeling of the vertebrae grinding against each other.
Common causes of facet joint arthrosis may include normal wear and tear, inflammation, arthritis or degeneration, states Twinboro Physical Therapy. Additional causes may include a sudden fall or trauma, extensive backward motion that compresses facet joints, genetic factors influencing degeneration, and repetitive stress injuries. A sedentary lifestyle, poor posture and muscle weakness are more possible causes.
Treatment for facet joint arthrosis typically starts conservatively with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication, indicates Twinboro Physical Therapy. In persistent cases, physical therapy may reduce joint inflammation and advance range of motion. In severe or non-responsive cases, surgery may fuse the facet joints of destroy the tiny facet nerves that are causing pain.