View Full Version : facet joint arthritis
01-25-2008, 09:06 PM
I'm new, and just discovered this site. I had X-ray, MRI and CT scans this fall, and the neurosurgeon just told me that my SPINE is in excellent shape, in terms of the bone and disks around the spinal cord, but that the lumbar facet joints had some hypertrophied cartilage, probably something that developed over long years of an active life (I am in my 50s). So, after a period of trying to rest my back and investigate causes, I'm now ready to try and regain some muscle mass ans flexiblilty, within the limits of my discomfort threshold. I am currently taking 25mg of elavil (amitriptyline) each evening, which has moved the pain back out of my face somewhat, and given me the sleep that the pain had disrupted, as well as an aspirin and an extra-strength tylenol (acetaminiphren) twice a day. I am also working with a nutritionist and a chiropractor and hypnotherapist, but my family doctor of 23 years recently died, and I really miss his wisdom!
Anyone have any advice on starting to get in shape in a manner that my back can handle without too much complaint? Is yoga good? Any particular variety best?
01-26-2008, 03:14 PM
Your chiropractor can write a prescription for some physical therapy. Some exercises cause pain with facet atrophy. Particularly the twisting exercises. A professional will likely be able to give you an exercise program.
01-29-2008, 10:22 AM
Facet arthritis is the story of my life! ;)
You can try physical therapy but I recommend aqua therapy. I am in that right now and it is helping a great deal. But I am in that mainly for stenosis reasons and for neuropathy.
I do have a spinal PM who does facet injections which helps tremendously. I had a set done at the C2/C3 in November...still working well...no pain! I had another set done at the L4/L5 and S1 on the left side only in December and they seem to be doing the trick too.
I go again this Friday to get a second set and from there it will be an RF. I had an RF done of the L3/L4/L5 facets done last winter. And I am telling you...I received a year's worth of relief. I would not hesitate again!
To me, it beats taking a handful of meds; the injections takes the pain down and I can go into therapy. Anyway, this is how I prefer to handle it because I have been the route of numerous medications. And PT "on land" just killed me. Being in the water takes the pressure off and is actually helping with the burning sensations I have in my feet.
02-18-2008, 05:23 PM
Hello all, I am new to this group and suffer from facet pain for a few years now. I had gone through the facet injections ( which gave short term relief) , then Radio Frequency (longer relief) back in 2006. The follow up PT did not seem to focus on the muscles that had suffered atrophy. This past fall I went to a renowned hospital in Boston, the New England Baptist hospitals Spine Center. There they review my x-rays and MRI’s and said my spine was in great shape but I did show some signs of arthritis on some of my lower facet joints. They suggested that I enroll in their physical therapy program known as “Bad Back Boot Camp” It is not as physically demanding as the name implies, what they did do is focus on certain back muscles that the original therapy did not seem to cover. I was able to regain considerable upper back and hip mobility. In addition I am able to turn my head from side to side without having to turn my back.
The facet pain has returned and I am in the process of having the Radio Frequency done again. I am encouraged by the fact that I feel I know the type of physical therapy that will strengthen my muscles as well as improve my flexibility and turning.
I do not take any pain medicine or muscle relax medication but I use an ice pack daily as well as a heating pad every other day.
I will update again after my Radio Frequency which is being done this Thursday.
Good luck to all
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