When twisting your back or moving your neck is too painful because of complications of facet arthritis, experienced pain management specialist Jason Chiu, MD, can help. Dr. Chiu and his compassionate medical staff offer interventional pain relief services, including facet joint injections, to alleviate arthritis-related pain. Whether you develop facet arthritis from aging or a work-related injury, the staff at The Painless Center in Fort Lee and Carlstadt, New Jersey, makes your overall health the focus of treatment, so you can enjoy long-term benefits and a higher quality of life.
The facet joints are part of your spine, connecting vertebrae together to stabilize and support your spinal column. These joints also give you range of motion and mobility, making it possible to twist, turn, and bend over.
Facet arthritis is a condition that affects these spinal joints. As you age or due to injury or illness, the facet joints can break down and progressively wear away. Degeneration of these joints can lead to a variety of symptoms that interfere with your mobility.
Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of facet arthritis. Depending on where the joint damage occurs, you may experience pain in your cervical spine (neck), or in the lumbar spine (lower back). Pain can also radiate into your arms and legs, causing numbness and weakness.
In addition to pain and stiffness, you may also experience symptoms like:
For some, degeneration of the facet joints can cause a herniated disc. This condition occurs when the protective, cushioning discs between vertebrae wear down or rupture, allowing the gel-like center to protrude outward. This protrusion can put pressure on the spinal nerve, causing chronic pain and worsening your mobility issues.
Treatment for facet arthritis depends on the severity and progression of the disease. Initially, you can try rest and over-the-counter medications to keep you comfortable. Physical therapy can also strengthen the muscles that support your spine to reduce pressure on spinal nerves.
If these options aren’t enough to alleviate persistent arthritis pain, Dr. Chiu creates a treatment plan to address your specific needs and the severity of the arthritis.
A common treatment for facet arthritis pain is a facet joint injection. This type of injection delivers an anesthetic medication directly to the nerves surrounding the affected facet joint. Facet joint injections can provide long-lasting pain relief for moderate to severe arthritis pain.
In some cases, chronic nerve pain that results from facet arthritis may need a more permanent solution to ensure you remain pain-free. Dr. Chiu may recommend radiofrequency ablation to address the root cause of your pain.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure where Dr. Chiu burns the nerve fibers responsible for pain. This disrupts the transmission of pain signals from the facet joints to the brain, providing you with long-term relief of pain and enhanced mobility.
Schedule a consultation for facet arthritis today, online or by calling The Painless Center nearest you.