Also known as Lumbar Facet Syndrome, facet pain refers to pain that is generated by the small joints that form the spinal column. These joints fall victim to degenerative changes (arthritis) in all humans. Many people are lucky and only experience minimal or no pain from this natural process. Other people can experience severe symptoms resulting in varying degrees of disability. Most patients note early morning low back pain that improves after they begin moving around. Pain sometimes returns after one has been idle for a while. This pain usually worsens with extension of the lumbar spine – when the spine is stretched and arched backwards (i.e. shoulders back). A Medial Branch Block or Facet Injection is a procedure that helps to diagnose this pain. Many patients with facet pain improve with medications, physical therapy and activity modification. Some patients may require injections and/or surgery depending on their level of disability. The Endoscopic Rhizotomy procedure is extremely effective in providing long-term pain relief from this problem.
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