Franklin Chiropractor | Facet SyndromeFranklin Chiropractor | Facet Syndrome
Facet Syndrome. Your lower back is made up of five blocks of bone (vertebra) stacked on top of each other with a shock absorbing “disc” in between each level for flexibility. The larger front of the vertebra is called the “body”. The back of each vertebra is formed by two smaller bony columns (one on each side), capped with smooth joints called “facets”. Each vertebra rests on the one below in a “tripod” sort of fashion with the disc in front, and the facet joints in the back. The diagnosis of “facet syndrome” means that your facet joints have become irritated and inflamed. This problem can arise from sprains, strains, or joints that are not moving properly. Patients are more likely to develop facet syndrome if they have suffered an injury, overuse their back, have arthritis, or are overweight. When a facet is irritated, you will likely notice pain on one side of your back that may radiate into your flank, hip, and thigh. The pain may come and go. Your pain may increase when you arch backwards or return to an upright position after bending forward. Many patients report relief when they lie down. Symptoms of facet syndrome do not usually radiate past your knee. Be sure to tell your Franklin chiropractor if your symptoms include any radiation of pain below your knee, weakness, groin numbness, changes in bowel or bladder Long-standing irritation to the facet joint is thought to cause arthritis. Fortunately, your Franklin chiropractor’s office can help. To speed your recovery, you should wear supportive shoes and avoid activities that increase your symptoms. Be sure to take frequent breaks from sitting. Your Franklin chiropractor may provide specific recommendations about using heat or ice at home. You may need to limit heavy physical activity, but you should avoid complete bed rest. Yoga has been shown to help back pain sufferers, so consider joining a class or picking up a DVD. Our Treatment Here is a brief description of the treatments we may use to help manage your problem. Joint Manipulation-Your Franklin chiropractor has found joints in your body that are not moving freely. This can cause tightness and discomfort and can accelerate unwanted
degeneration i.e. arthritis. Your Franklin chiropractor will apply a gentle force with their hands, or with hand held instruments, in order to restore motion to any “restricted” joints. Sometimes a specialized table will be used to assist with these safe and effective “adjustments”. Joint manipulation improves flexibility, relieves pain and helps maintain healthy joints. Therapy Modalities-We may apply electrotherapy modalities that produce light electrical pulses transmitted through electrodes placed over your specific sites of concern. These comfortable modalities work to decrease your pain, limit inflammation and ease muscle spasm. Hot or cold packs are often used in conjunction, to enhance the effect of these modalities. Another available option is therapeutic ultrasound. Ultrasound pushes sound vibrations into tissues. When these vibrations reach your deep tissues, heat develops and unwanted waste products are dispersed. Therapeutic Exercise -Muscle tightness or weakness causes discomfort and alters normal joint function, leading to additional problems. Your Franklin chiropractor will target tight or weak muscles with specific therapeutic stretching and strengthening to help increase tissue flexibility, build strength, and ease pain. Healthy, strong, and flexible muscles may help prevent re-injury. Home Exercises You Can Do . Dead Bug -Begin lying on your back with your right arm reaching overhead and your left leg flat on the table. Your right knee should be bent 90 degrees and your hip 45 degrees. Place your left wrist beneath your back to prevent your back from flattening against the ground. Slowly begin by raising your left knee and right arm at the same time until your hand touches your knee. Be sure not to lift your head or allow your spine to flatten against the floor. Return to the start position and repeat for three sets of 10 repetitions on each side, twice per day or as directed. Tri-Planar Psoas Stretch -Begin standing in a “lunge” position with your involved leg back until a stretch is felt in your hip. Lunge forward to increase the stretch in your hip. Hold this position for two or three seconds and return to neutral. Slowly lunge forward 10 times, each time increasing the stretch. Perform 10 additional repetitions of increased stretch by rotating your body away from your involved leg. Perform a final set of 10 repetitions of increased stretch by raising your arm on the same side and rotating your body away while performing lunges. Perform a total of 30 repetitions twice per day or as directed. 1.Cat/Camel -Begin on all 4’s, keeping your back in neutral position. Keep your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Extend your neck and back at the same time into a “Mad Cat” position. Next, flex your neck and back at the same time to drop into an,“Old Horse” position. Repeat in a slow coordinated movement for 20 repetitions. Perform 3 sets of 20 repetitions twice per day, or as directed.
Hamstring Doorway Stretch -Lie flat on your back with your leg elevated and positioned in a doorway as shown. “Scoot” toward the door frame until your hamstring is taut. Contract your hamstring by attempting to push your heel into the door frame for seven seconds. Relax and gently slide your buttocks toward the door frame while keeping your knees straight to increase the stretch. Repeat three contract/relax cycles on each side, twice per day or as directed. Alternately, you may provide your own resistance by looping a belt or towel around your heel instead of using a door frame. Knee to Chest -Lie flat on your back with both legs extended. With the assistance of your arms, bring your right knee to your chest and hold it there for 30 seconds. Slowly return to neutral and repeat on the left side for 30 seconds. Finish by bringing both knees to your chest for 60 seconds. Repeat this exercise twice per day or as directed.