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Facet Syndrome

vg24vvg24 Posts: 2
edited 03/09/2015 - 7:33 AM in Lower Back Pain

I recently was diagnosed with facet syndrome and as a part of the treatment received 4 spinal injections at my l4-l5 joints. I've begun to feel better, but want to know if I could be damaging the joints worse even though the limited exercises I've been doing aren't yielding any pain.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • a lot of times corticosteroids do break down the muscles/skeleton. they are catabolic. i haven't received any epidurals myself, i have been too scared.
    i also am not a dr.
  • My concern was more of the exercises that I am performing. For example, If I can use an elliptical machine, and not feel any pain, does that mean that the joints aren't receiving more damage? Or could the injections just be masking the pain as I further damage the joint?
  • Not a doctor or physical therapist but I've been told by my surgeon that a stationary bike is the best exercise I can do to avoid impact and jarring my spine. Perhaps an eliptical is similar? If you have a physical therapist, I would ask him or her for advice.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • The facet joints as we age often develop arthritis. The constant friction and inflammation will eventually cause low back pain, especially in the morning. Because there are no cures for osteoarthritis one may only treat the symptoms.

    Your procedure treated the symptoms. The object of the procedure was to reduce or eliminate your pain. It seems that the expected outcome was achieved.

    Exercise is generally recommended for arthritis. Relieving the pain helps you to be more mobile.

    I've had this procedure, and I enjoy the lack of pain. I don't worry about the degenerative changes of arthritis, because I can't control them. Well that's not entirely true, if one is overweight losing weight will slow the progression and pain of the disease.

    Talk with your doctor for your particular situation.
    L3-L4 Laminectomy micro-discectomy 2008
    ALIF L5-S1 2012
    Facet Joint Ablation L2 to S1 2012
    Facet Joint Ablation. L2 to S1 2015
  • I've been told not to over do it. I too have facet pain and get radiofrequency abalation procedure done every 4-6 months (ie dr burns nerves of facet to stop pain until they grow back). It's easy to push oneself when the pain is less. My pain has come back stronger each time when the procedure wears off. I'm sticking to pilates based physical therapy (ie strength training lying on my back) and water walking. I finally feel like I'm getting stronger and building those back muscles to protect the spine.
    Aged 30; Neuroblastoma age 2 w/ laminectomies at L4 & L5
    Current dx: Radioculopathy, Stenosis, DDD severe L5 & moderate L4, Chronic left lumbar & hip pain

    Radiofrequency abalation every 4 months and pilates PT for pain relief+ too many pain meds :)
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