Facet Joint Pain Treatment

Facet joint pain can keep people from performing many activities they love to do. Fortunately, there are a few effective treatments that can allow those who suffer from this disorder to remain as active as possible.


Doctors sometimes prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce the swelling associated with facet joint pain. Pain medication might also be used to help manage this disorder for patients who suffer from chronic instances of it. Most pain medication is delivered in the form of an injection into the affected joint. This works to numb the joint so an individual cannot feel pain. An injection is normally only a temporary solution, as it may only provide relief for a few hours at a time.

Self Help

Many patients find relief by using a number of self-help methods. These include taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen and then applying heat to the affected area. Eliminating activities that bring about facet joint pain may work whenever the pain is caused by over-exertion. Learning to improve the posture can also help to alleviate symptoms. In some cases, a deep tissue massage could also help relieve some of the suffering caused by this disorder.

Chiropractic Treatments

Visiting a chiropractor is an effective way to get relief from facet joint pain. A chiropractor might attempt to make adjustments to the spine by having the patient perform certain movements. This is known as spinal manipulation, and has been used for centuries to help resolve problems related to synovial joints. Some patients report feeling better almost immediately, while others require a series of sessions in order to ensure their spine is aligned properly.

Electric Stimulation

This is normally performed in a medical clinic by a doctor or trained technician. It involves using a hand-held device to apply electronic current to the muscles along the spine. This in turn helps them to relax so they do not create tension in the joints. In mild cases, this therapy can be enough to loosen the joints so that patients do not experience any other symptoms, but other times, this type of treatment might be needed on an ongoing basis.

Alignment Devices

Special collars or support devices can be used to stabilize the spine, thereby reducing the amount of pain that is felt.When facet joint pain radiates into the neck, a patient may need to wear a stabilizing collar at night while sleeping. Special pillows that have a cutout section for the head and neck can also help eliminate facet joint pain. It might also be necessary to wear this collar when performing twisting or turning activities. When facet joints in the lower or middle back cause pain, a back brace might be used to stabilize them, especially when performing heavy lifting.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can teach patients exercises to help them reduce facet joint pain.This professional might also suggest exercises to help strengthen the lower back in order to prevent future reoccurrences. During physical therapy, patients might also be taught the proper way to lift, how to obtain good posture, and how to avoid turning or twisting incorrectly. Patients might be given a series of exercises to do on their own to keep their back in good shape once facet joint pain has been eliminated.

For many people, facet joint pain is easily managed. Not every treatment methods works for everyone, so it might be necessary to try several different ones in order to find one that is effective.