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Facet Joint Osteoarthritis

What is facet joint osteoarthritis?

The joints in the spine are called facet joints. Spinal osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that causes the spinal facet joints to become painful and stiff. 

The severity of facet joint osteoarthritis symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, and between different affected joints. For some people, the symptoms may be mild and may come and go, whereas others can experience more continuous and severe problems.

How do we treat facet joint osteoarthritis?

Facet joint osteoarthritis is a long-term condition which cannot be cured, but it doesn't necessarily get any worse over time and it can sometimes gradually improve. A number of treatments are available to reduce the symptoms:

  • painkilling medication 
  • a structured supervised exercise plan
  • gentle osteopathic mobilisation techniques
  • steroid injections into the affected spinal joints can help
  • In a small number of cases, where the above treatments haven't helped or the damage to the joints is particularly severe, Radiofrequency Denervation may be an appropriate treatment. This is a specialist treatment that has to be done in hospital. If this is appropriate, Dr Allfree will help you with the referral process.

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