Your friendly Chiropractor in Chandler AZ, Dr. Dan Rae, is back at the computer this morning to write about another condition that we do not hear very much about, but it is very common. I am talking about a condition called Facet Syndrome. Facet Syndrome is a condition that can occur in any location of the spine, but today I am going to focus on Cervical Facet Syndrome, which occurs in the neck.
From the image above we can visualize the facet joint on the back side of each vertebra. The facet joint is one of the joints that connects each vertebra to the one above and below it. There is actually four facets on each vertebra. Two facets project upwards on both sides of each vertebra, and two project downwards. The facets are meant to glide back and forth on each other as we move allowing us to bend and rotate; however, there are times when the vertebra become fixated or stuck not allowing for normal motion within the joint. The facet joint then becomes very irritated and painful causing referred pain as seen in the image below.
In the image directly above we can see the location of referred pain for each different facet joint. This referred pain can occur on either side; for example, the C5-C6 referred pain does not only occur on the left side of the neck.
These patients often come into my office complaining of this referred pain any time they turn there head to or away from the affected side. They will report that this started after a minor (sudden turning of the head) to moderate (a car accident) traumatic incident causing neck and arm pain. The patient will often be able to draw a line around the area of pain, which does not follow any sort of nerve pattern.
Treatment for this condition is best done by a chiropractor. Cervical manipulation is implemented immediately to reintroduce normal motion back into the fixated or stuck joint. Soft-tissue therapies such as Active Release Technique (ART) and Graston Technique are implemented as well to decrease muscle spasm and prevent chronic shortening of surrounding muscles. The patient is also sent home with stretching and heating protocols.
If you hare suffering from Neck Pain, don’t delay, and call my office today (480) 366-4041. We can Help!