Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common type of arthritis that typically affects the lower back, neck, or other areas along the spine. With this condition, the bone-padding cartilage wears down. In spinal OA, the facet joints are affected. These are the small joints that are located behind and between your vertebrae. As you move, your bones rub together causing pain. You form spurs (bony growths) in your joints which press on your nerves, causing you more pain.
Spine and nerve pain due to joint degeneration or arthritis can cause chronic pain, limit mobility, and make simple tasks nearly impossible. However, facet thermal ablation can help mitigate this pain. Our team at NJ Spine & Orthopedic will work to evaluate your medical records to determine if facet thermal ablation is right for you.
What Is Facet Thermal Ablation?
This is a minimally invasive procedure that a neck and spine surgeon performs to alleviate pain in individuals suffering from facet joint issues. The facet joints in the spine are the joints between your vertebrae and create the flexibility of your spine. You also have cartilage in these joints between your vertebrae that help cushion the bones and joints in your back.
When you’re suffering from conditions like arthritis, or the cartilage wears down, it changes how your facet joints line up and how your bones touch. This leads to:
- Loss of mobility
There are a lot of sensitive nerves in these joints, which makes any negative effects or damage extremely painful. A face thermal ablation can help ease the immobility and pain caused by the impacted facet joints.
Pain Symptoms That Facet Thermal Ablation Can Help Relieve
Each person will vary in how they experience the symptoms associated with spinal arthritis based on their own bodies and the intensity of the condition. Common spinal arthritis symptoms include:
1. Acute Pain
Facet arthritis can lead to localized pain in the lower back or neck where the joints are affected. This can be intermittent and random pain that ranges from a few times a month to almost constant.
2. Limited Flexibility and Movement
Often, facet joint arthritis will cause stiffness and limited movement in the spine. You may experience more pain when you bend forward and backward.
3. Persistent Pain or Tenderness
With facet arthritis, continual tenderness or pain at the arthritis site are also common symptoms.
4. Radiating Pain
You might experience pain in your legs and buttocks if the facet arthritis is affecting your lower spine. If the facet arthritis is affecting your neck, you might have radiating pain in your arm and shoulder.
What Conditions Can Facet Thermal Ablation Treat?
Individuals suffering from limited mobility and chronic pain in the back and neck due to spinal arthritis may find minimally invasive facet thermal ablation to offer pain relief. The procedure targets the source of the pain but doesn’t disturb surrounding nerves or muscles in the meantime.
This procedure may treat numerous spinal and back conditions, including:
- Facet hypertrophy
- Facet joint syndrome
- Annular tearing
- Degenerative facet joints
Any of the above conditions could result in several symptoms, but the most common are tenderness, numbness, intermittent or chronic pain, and loss of spinal flexibility.
Often, this procedure can substantially improve flexibility and mobility and reduce chronic pain symptoms for individuals living with facet joint arthritis. However, it’s also important to note that this procedure doesn’t treat or reverse the damage caused by spinal degeneration. You should continue to maintain proactive lifestyle choices such as exercising regularly and quitting smoking to keep your spine healthy and strong.
Contact NJ Spine & Orthopedic Today to Discuss Facet Thermal Ablation for Your Chronic Pain
If you’re suffering from chronic spine or back pain, a facet thermal ablation procedure can be a true lifesaver. Some people live their whole lives with intense spinal pain without realizing that this procedure could potentially give them the relief they need. Experiencing relief from immobility and chronic pain can give you the freedom you require to live a normal, quality life.
At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we provide our patients with high-quality, compassionate care to make them feel taken care of. Call our office today at (866) 553-0612 or fill out our online form if you have questions and would like to speak with a skilled spinal surgeon or schedule a consultation to learn more about how facet thermal ablation can help with your chronic pain.