Facet Joint Arthritis In-depth - Body Pain Tips

Facet Joint Arthritis In-depth

Everyone has them, but most people don’t know what they are called. But every time we move, our Facet Joints come into play. The proper name of a facet joint is a Zygapophysial Joint, but most people refer to them just as Facet Joints.

What is Facet (Zygapophysial) Joint?

Each facet joint is made up of a capsule of synovial fluid that is sandwiched between the anterior processes of the two vertebrae. A process is an extended portion of the bone. In this case, the joint occurs where the superior articular process of the bottom vertebrae interacts with the inferior articular process of next vertebrae of the spinal column.

In those terms, it sounds like a Zygapophysial Joint is pretty complicated. You can see from the image however that it is not. The synovial capsule in the facet joint acts as a cushion between the corresponding processes (extensions of bone). Cartilage lines the joint to allow the bones to move smoothly against one another.

What Does a Facet Joint Do?

The Facet Joints help to provide stabilization to the spinal column as well as guiding movement. They are crucial for the control of forwarding and backward bending (flexion). The joints also provide a degree of limitation to the rotation of the spine. In the lumbar region of the spine, which is the lower section, the facet joints provide stability and keep the back experiencing too much medial flexion. The joints, however, do not have a large factor in the control of lateral flexion (side to side bending). In the cervical region of the spinal column, which is the upper section, the facet joints help to control flexion, but they also facilitate the rotation of the neck.

As I mentioned before, most people don’t even know that they have a Zygapophysial Joint. It’s not until people begin to experience back pain that they even learn of the Facet Joint. Facet Joint Syndrome and Arthritis of the Facet Joints are the two major problems people experience with their facet joints.

Facet Joint Arthritis Symptoms

It may seem overly simplified, but the most common symptom of Facet Joint Arthritis is a pain. Unlike other types of back pain that include nerve pain, Facet Joint Arthritis usually involves a mechanical pain.  This mechanical pain is the result of the bones of the facet join wearing against one another.

Many people find that their pain is worse after sleeping or laying on their back.  Due to the nature of the facet joints, which provide stability in the backward bending of the spinal column,  it is also very common to feel pain either when twisting or bending backward.

Facet Joint Arthritis pain may manifest itself throughout the spinal column.  However, the most common area of complaint seems to be in the lumbar (lower back) region.  Typically, this pain, due to the mechanical nature of its origin, does not radiate down the legs or into the buttocks.  In less common cases, there may be bone spurs that have developed that can cause the pain to radiate as the nerves are impacted directly.

Homeopathic Medicine to help treat Facet Joint Arthritis

If you’ve lived with facet joint arthritis, you know that it is one of the most disturbing conditions that one can endure. Due to the all-encompassing nature of the spine in almost every action that a person does, facet joint arthritis impinges on people all the time. There are a variety of mainstream medical treatments available to help with the management of facet joint arthritis. But one should also consider alternative treatments for facet joint arthritis. When it comes to finding relief of such a painful issue, all options should be considered whether they are traditional or alternative in nature.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex chronic disorder and wants to be evaluated effectively just before any prescription is created. Arthritis in the facet joints should be analyzed by a medical professional. But it’s worth discussing alternative treatments such as homeopathic medicine with your healthcare providers. Homeopathy considers arthritis as a constitutional issue and treats it accordingly. Homeopathy can prove to be a great boon for all those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Since Homeopathic therapy is based upon cautious analysis of the symptoms of the patients, it is a method of medicine that understands and treats the patient’s individualized disease characteristics deeply sufficient to ensure the total elimination of the disease from the root. The activated dilutions of Homeopathic medicines stimulate the body’s own restorative program to eradicate the disease. When rightly prescribed, they are extremely secure. Choosing the correct homeopathic remedies demands total assessment of the body on numerous levels – mental, physical as well as information (i.e. the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis). While it is not quite evident exactly how homeopathy works in rheumatoid arthritis, however, it is believed that homeopathy controls the immune system and deactivates the malfunctioning immune system cells. In addition, they aid in reducing the inflammation process inside the joints. A cure for deformity with homeopathy remains to be under argument and nothing conclusive can be mentioned about it.

Of course, not everyone agrees about the efficacy of homeopathic treatment plans. Old fashioned medical science has generally looked down upon the homeopathic treatments, however with time, traditional medicine has started to consider homeopathic treatments in the holistic therapy for the affected person. I personally believe that multiple forms of alternative medicine such as homeopathy, acupuncture, diet, yoga and holistic therapies should be considered. Some traditional medical practitioners may dismiss homeopathy as a placebo effect, but if some people respond to the therapies and experience relief from the pain of facet joint arthritis, I believe that has to be given some weight in the course of their treatment.

Homeopathy also has positive aspects in those circumstances when a patient is already taking allopathic pain relievers for rheumatoid arthritis such as ibuprofen. It can little by little minimize the dependence on pain relievers and then make a person feel the need of consuming painkillers exclusively in a time of extreme need. After frequent and standard homeopathic treatment, reliance upon NSAID’s could totally vanish. The scope of homeopathic treatment in rheumatoid arthritis is very favorable. But the patient needs to recognize that the homeopathic method is aiming to clear out the illness from the body and not attempting merely to suppress or give temporary relief. Thus it could take an even though just before one experiences relief. The time necessary for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is dependent on a variety of elements like the chronicity of the disease, genetic propensity and the extent of harm.

Specifically, in the early stages, cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis can respond nicely to the homeopathic treatment. The medicines can decrease the frequency, duration, and severity of the attacks and can delay the onset of complications. In advanced stages where deformities of the joints have occurred, Homeopathy can assist to ease the discomfort. By means of Homeopathic treatment, the disease progress can be slowed down, an important reduction in joint stiffness and pain can be achieved and further complications of the disease can be prevented. Overall the scope of treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with Homeopathy is excellent and it is definitely suggested in all cases of arthritis. Homeopathy may benefit persons struggling from facet joint arthritis of which is connected to rheumatoid arthritis.


The Facet Joint ( or the zygapophysial joint as it’s properly named) is the area where two vertebrae meet together in our spinal column. The Facet Joint is where the upper and lower vertebrae articulate with one another. These joints provide the rigidity and structure of our spinal column as well as controlling how are spine bends. Each pair of vertebrae has two Facet Joints, where the anterior and superior articular processes come together.

Articular cartilage ( an almost rubber-like substance that provides a cushion to the joint) covers the surfaces of the joints. The cartilage provides a buffering substance so that the bones do not rub directly against one another. Injuries to the vertebrae can cause damage to the cartilage. The aging process also can lead to spinal degradation. Growing older is the leading cause of Facet Joint Arthritis. That’s why Facet Joint Arthritis is basically a degenerative form of arthritis.

Facet Joint Arthritis is generally manifested as mechanical pain. This is due to the abnormal movement of the spine. As the cartilage degrades, the vertebrae don’t fit correctly. On some occasions, bone spurs can develop in the joint. These bone spurs can affect the nerves and cause a sense of tingling, impaired reflexes, weakness and numbness

In order to diagnose Facet Joint Arthritis, the physician will work through a series of diagnostic steps:

  • Physical Examination with a complete history – your physician will work with you to develop a narrative with regard to your back and ongoing symptoms.
  • X-ray Examination – spinal column degeneration can be seen on the X-ray if the space between the vertebrae has noticeably collapsed and or if any bone spurs have developed and may be putting pressure on the spine.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – if further investigation is needed, an MRI can be performed, which provides a view of the soft tissue of the joint. This will allow the physician to see if the Facet Joint is swollen.
  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan) – the CT Scan enables the physician to view cross-sectional slices of the vertebrae. This advanced form of examination allows a more detailed examination of the bone surfaces.
  • Fluoroscopy Guided Injection – a needle is guided with the aid of X-ray fluoroscopy and injected into the spinal column. A special marking dye and medication are injected. In the event that the pain is reduced, it aids in the Facet Joint Arthritis diagnosis.

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