Cervical Facet Syndrome
- Painful irritation to the back resulting from injury to the facet joints or discs of the column.
- Can be manifested by stiffness in the neck or by intense cervical pain that can radiate in the arm or head.
- Without appropriate treatment, this condition can develop into a chronic and recurring problem.
- The pain is caused by irritation and local inflammation of one or more joint facets. The nerve may be involved in its output and create pain that radiates. An injury to the disc of the column may also be present.
- The facet syndrome is due to an injury of the cartilage of the facet joint, resulting from an excessive movement, particularly in rotation and in extension.
- This irritation can be caused by different types of incidents:
- False movements
- Rapid lifting of a load
- Fall or trauma
- Prolonged poor posture
- Work or repetitive activity under unfavorable conditions
- Increased lumbar lordosis eg: pregnant women, obese people
- Ice (20 minutes / 2 hours), rest and complementary therapies such as neurocryotherapy and kinesio taping are always in order to decrease inflammation and intense pain.
- Avoid activities that accentuate pain (hyperextension and rotation.
- Once the pain is controlled, vertebral manipulations are the most effective treatment for this type of problem. They help restore movement and decompress the joint.
- Working with soft tissues (Active Release Techniques and Graston)
- Strengthening the associated musculature.
- Stretching of the associated musculature.
- Anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants and analgesics as needed
- Facet injections can provide some relief but do not solve the basic problem at the joint level.
- Surgery, which involves merging two or more vertebrae, is rarely necessary.
Using manipulations and favorable conditions, one can notice a remarkable improvement in 14 days and a remission in 4 to 5 weeks. On the other hand, waiting several weeks before the start of treatment, it may be longer and the patient may have sequelae (slight persistent pain, recurrence, weakness in the neck, etc.).
WARNING ! If you develop numbness or weakness in the upper limb or incontinence problems, consult your doctor immediately.