a misalignment of one vertebra upon another vertebra due to abnormal disc changes, often narrowed at the back and widened at the front
If you have facet syndrome, you might have low back pain that extends into your pelvis and even into the thigh of one or both legs. This term facet syndrome is actually a misalignment of one vertebra upon another because of disc space narrowing. Coming from the French word facette meaning "little face," the facet is the flat part of the vertebra (spinal bone) that faces the next facet and allows spinal motion.
26% of people have been reported to suffer with facet syndrome.
Facet syndrome causes pain due to the compression of the spinal nerve root and irritation of the facet and disc. All of these - facet, disc and spinal nerve - are pain-producing factors.
A common question is what makes the disc narrow? Discs are 80% water. As we age, our discs lose water and shrink in height. We also tend to allow our abdominal and low back muscles to weaken. This shrinkage in disc and muscle results in narrowing of the disc space and nerve opening. This narrowing of facet joint space traps the nerve as it exits the spinal cord and causes pain.
Facet Syndrome Condition Description
A thorough, clinical examination that may include imaging is important to your recovery.
Lumbar Spine Exam Description
In office, New Hampshire Spine and Sport uses Cox Technic Flexion Distraction and Decompression to widen the canal space, drop the intradiscal pressure and increase the disc height to relieve pain.
You will welcome the Cox Technic manipulation that gently "pulls you apart," as many patients describe the treatment or say they need. Depending on the severity of your pain and symptoms, gentler Protocol I may be applied until 50% relief of pain or more restoring Protocol II may be applied to guide your recovery.
Graphic Animation of Cox Technic - Lumbar Spine
The disc is pressing on the nerve. Note that as the disc herniation reduces, the pinched nerve is relieved.
This is an animation of the goal of Cox Technic Flexion-Distraction and Decompression: reduced irritation of spinal elements enough to relieve pain and help you regain your quality of life. The amount of decrease in size of the herniated disc necessary for pain relief varies from 0% to 100% for each individual patient.
Cox Technic Protocol I - for severe pain and pain that extends below the knee
Cox Technic Protocol II - for pain that is in the low back and leg but does not extend below the knee
At Home Care
At home you may want to avoid sitting for long periods of time, wear a support brace if recommended, take nutritional supplements that help rebuild disc cartilage, do exercises that strengthen your spine, sleep on a supportive mattress, sit in an ergonomically designed chair, and modify your daily activities as needed.
Contact New Hampshire Spine and Sport in Southern New Hampshire for relief of your facet syndrome pain.