What Is Facet Disease
The Facet joints are the joint structures that connect the vertebrae to one another. The facet joint is like any other joint in your body – they have cartilage that line the joint, (this allows the bone to glide smoothly over one another) and a capsule surrounding the joint. The function of the facet joint is to provide support, stability, and mobility to the vertebrae (spine). Facet Disease occurs when there is degeneration of the facet joint.
There are two facet joints between each vertebrae. They are located on each side of the vertebrae. Facet disease can occur at any level of the spine, but are most common in the lumbar region.
Facet Disease is caused by the cartilage in the joints being worn down as a result of wear and tear, aging, injury or misuse. This type of injury to the spine can be attributed to arthritis of the spine, work, over-use or an accident. Another cause of Facet Disease is spondylolisthesis, which is when one vertebra slips forward in relation to an adjacent vertebra, usually in the lumbar spine.
Symptoms related to facet joint problems are usually localized to the area of the facet joint. This can occur in the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back) and lumbar (lower back).
When the facets are affected in the lumbar region, a person can experience lower back pain that can go to the buttocks and upper thigh area. If the area affected is cervical, then pain can occur in the back of the neck and radiate to the top of the shoulders, and can radiate around the neck.
Since there are a lot of causes of back and neck pain, it is important that when evaluating and treating a patient that the correct diagnosis is made. Pain related to facet disease can be easily diagnosed. This is accomplished by either a thorough physical exam or a diagnostic facet injection, a numbing medication injected into the facet joint. If your pain is caused from the facet joint, then the pain should resolve immediately. If you still have pain after the injection, then your pain may be caused by something else such as Spinal Stenosis or a herniated/bulging disc, which may require a different procedure to correct.
The DRX9000(C)™ – is designed to relieve pressure on the anatomical structures that cause neck and lower back pain. This non-surgical procedure was developed for the treatment of pain and disabling neck and lower back conditions caused by disc herniations, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, stenosis and posterior facet syndrome.
How Does It Work?
The bones of the spine are slowly and methodically separated using the state of the art DRX9000(C) Spinal Decompression Unit. While the vertebrae are separated, pressure is slowly reduced within the disc (intradiscal pressure) until a vacuum is formed. This vacuum pulls the gelatin center of the disc back inside, reducing the bulging disc or herniated disc. Substantial disc bulge reduction takes pressure off the spinal nerves and drastically reduces disability and pain. The vacuum also pulls necessary oxygen, fluid and nutrients into injured and degenerated discs allowing the healing to begin.
If you are suffering with chronic back pain, hip pain, sciatica, neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling we can help.
What Will You Experience During Treatment?
Light side effects during the first few sessions are common with this type of therapy. Mild muscular soreness during or after treatment may occur. The soreness may be similar to what you may feel after starting a new workout or exercise program. Most patients find this type of therapy comfortable and relaxing. The DVD/CD player on this machine makes it easy to relax, kick back and enjoy some music or an episode of one of your favorite tv shows.
During an average 20-45 minute treatment, most patients experience a gentle stretch. After each treatment is complete, one of our providers will put a cold pack on the area that was treated and sometimes even some electrical stimulation.
At our facility we always pair the DRX with therapy treatments to help loosen restrictions, improve posture and promote strengthening.