Facet Syndrome Treatment

All treatment should be condition specific, that goes for facet syndrome treatment as well.

Any treatment for facet syndrome should address the specific elements that cause or contribute to it.

All too often when you enter the doctors office or clinic with low back pain complaints you are given a cook book approach type of treatment.

Condition Specific Treatment

What is often the case is that whether you have low back pain from strain, stenosis, DDD, disc herniation or facet syndrome the treatment is pretty much the same. It is either pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, spinal adjustments, muscle stimulation or a combination of one or more of the above.

The same treatment for different causes of low back pain is an indication of incompetence or laziness. In either case you would be wise to avoid that doctor or clinic.

Yes, some therapy will help to relieve pain regardless of the ailment or cause. But low back pain relief should not be the prime focus. Your goal should be low back pain cure to the extent possible and that can only be accomplished with corrective treatment that aims at the cause not the symptom

Facet Syndrome Treatments

Here is a list of the most effective lumbar facet syndrome treatment approaches directed at correcting the underlying cause of low back pain due to lumbar facet arthritis, lumbar facet syndrome or most any problem that negatively impacts the facet joints due to mechanical or structural deficits:

  • Avoid high heels or shoes with elevated heels. This elevation of the heels will cause your body to lean in a forward inclination. When leaning forward your body will force you unconsciously to counterbalance by placing your lumbar spine in a hyper-extended position, thereby, creating an abnormally increased lordosis. This is termed a hyper-lordotic posture.

    What this hyper-lordosis ultimately does is force the facet joints to glide together just as described under number one above.
  • Do not sleep on your stomach. Stomach sleeping will also force the lumbar facet joints to glide together thereby resulting in irritation. 

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  • Avoid hyper-extension low back exercises. That's right, they will also have the same damaging irritating negative impact on your facets. 
  • Stretching is very good when performed properly and with the right desired outcome. The stretched posture shown here does not stretch the low back muscles. It also jams the facet joints together. What is being stretched are the abdominal muscles and possibly some hip flexor  muscles. This is not a good stretch and should be avoided 100% of the time despite being told or reading otherwise.
Harmful Low Back Exercise

Do Not Do This To Your Spine

  • A negative heel shoe or "earth shoe" may be helpful with facet syndrome treatment. What a negative heel does, by dropping the heel lower than the forefoot, is actually cause the facet joints to open or slide slightly apart. This is the opposite action that occurs with using high heels.

When the facet joints slide apart, this will open the foramen, or nerve opening between the vertebra, allowing the nerves more space and reducing the amount of compression or nerve pressure.

It is best to use negative heel shoes full time for 2 to 4 weeks to see if you notice any pain relief.

Remember, even though you may not notice relief of your low back pain, you may want to continue using negative heel shoes as any relief obtained along with the other suggested actions in this website is accumulative and add to the overall amount of your total relief.

A 10% improvement may not be noticed but 10% improvement from five or 10 actions will be profound.

  • Consider weight reduction. Excess weight not only creates more compression force on the disc and its facet joints, the excess abdominal weight will place more forward pull on your torso which forces you to hyper-extended in an attempt to balance. This once again, that's right, will contribute to facet joint jamming.

Pregnancy has the same negative effect as excess abdominal weight and it could cause facet syndrome or aggravate an already existing facet problem. Try to avoid any further hyper-extension and take frequent rests. Lying on your back with your knees elevated, especially during your last trimester when the stress added to the low back joints is at its greatest, can be very beneficial.

  • Chiropractic spinal adjustments can be very effective with treating lumbar facet syndrome treatment. The adjustments will reduce fixations that cause the facet joints to remain in an abnormal position. One such fixation occurs when a lumbar vertebra that is hyper-extended and locked in a lateral flexed position. This type of spinal misalignment will often result in a one-sided facet syndrome.
  • Perform specific low back and abdominal strengthening exercises. If your muscles are too tight, restrictive and shortened due to poor posture or trigger points, stretching them will make it easier for the facet joints to separate when receiving spinal adjustments, performing abdominal strengthening exercise or any other action such as wearing earth shoes.

Your goal should be to obtain balance between opposing muscle actions. If the abdominal muscles are weak relative to the low back muscles this will permit the facet joints to glide together excessively. If the abdominal muscles are strong and toned this will act as a splinting or girdle-like action and help the lumbar spine to maintain a more normal curvature or lordosis.

Strengthen the abdominal muscles with progressive core strengthening exercises.

With lumbar facet syndrome treatment it is paramount that you correct, alleviate or minimize all contributing or aggravating factors to effect a more successful outcome.

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