Facet Joint Syndrome Back Pain Specialist Doctors NYC

The doctors of Manhattan Pain and Sports Associates are considered best in class back pain management specialists for facet joint syndrome. Facet joint syndrome may mimic other causes of back pain, such as a herniated disc, spinal infection, torn muscle or even abdominal issues, which is why you need to get a proper diagnosis from a back pain specialist. X-rays from different angles and CT scans are most helpful in determining a diagnosis of facet joint syndrome.

Facet Joint Syndrome

Have you ever wondered why you just don’t topple over when you bend to pick up a box or fall on your face when you twist to hit a tennis ball? You can thank your facet joints. Facet joints are the stabilizing places along your vertebrae that allow you to perform many of the movements you make every day and still stay upright and in one piece.

Facet joints, also coined “joints with small faces” are places behind and between the various bones in your spine that support you when you twist and move. Just about every moveable part in your spine has a facet joint that prevents excessive motion. Facet joints limit forward bending movement to about 12 degrees and sideways bending to about 5 degrees. Your lower back is kept to a maximum of a 2-degree bend because any more could cause damage to the sensitive nerves in your spinal cord.

Highly Sensitive

Facet joints are highly sensitive to irritation. They’re designed to slide around on each other. There is a tiny fluid-filled capsule on each facet that keeps the joints lubricated. These sacs house tiny nerve endings that let you know when they’re not happy. You’ll feel it if they’re injured because the pain is persistent. You can either stop what you’re doing or seek help from a pain management doctor.

Facet joints are working all the time, so they do wear out. When that happens, bone spurs form, protruding into your nerves or the joints themselves become arthritic. When joints degenerate, you experience severe pain whenever you’re in motion. That’s when you need to visit an NYC pain management doctor for treatment options.

Taking Care of Your Joints

Very often, facet joint pain can cause you to seize up and start developing muscle spasms. Manual manipulation through a variety of non-invasive pain relief techniques can help put your side muscles back in the correct position after reacting to the joint pain. You have to get those muscles to relax.

Treatment Options for Facet Joint Pain Syndrome

Long-term treatment involves exercise, strict attention to your posture, alternating hot and cold applications and changing certain activities that lead to pain. Anti-inflammatories, manual manipulation, and the right kind of pillows help beat back the pain. A procedure that freezes the ends of the nerves is an option, and your doctor should discuss the implications of this treatment with you.

Bone fusion surgery is the last resort your pain management doctor may consider — and only after your pain consistently remains severe and debilitating.

See Your NYC Pain Management Specialist

A pain management specialty group such as Manhattan Pain and Sports Associates can help you not only diagnose the source of your facet joint back pain but also find ways to manage it. While surgical options are available, conservative methods such as pain medications and physical therapy are considered first.

Manhattan Pain and Sports Associates
51 East 25th St, 4th Floor, Ste B
New York, NY 10010
(212) 533-3954