Facet joint hypertrophy can be a source of chronic pain causing disruption to your everyday life. Fortunately, there are strategies to reduce this hypertrophy, making the joints more flexible and reducing pain. Here are five useful tips to help you treat facet joint hypertrophy.
1. Become more active
Regular physical activity, such as walking or jogging, is one of the best ways to treat facet joint hypertrophy. Regular physical activity strengthens the muscles in the area and increases flexibility in the joints, reducing the pain and stiffness commonly associated with the condition. Regular exercise also helps to reduce inflammation in the joint and allow for more mobility. It is important to consult with a doctor or physical therapist before beginning any physical activity to make sure you are doing the proper exercises for your condition.
Stretching regularly can also be helpful in treating facet joint hypertrophy. By stretching the muscles in the affected area, you can increase flexibility in the joints, which reduces tension and helps alleviate pain. Again, it is important to consult with your doctor or physical therapist to determine what type of stretching exercises are appropriate for your individual condition.
2. Try Cold or Heat Therapy
Applying a cold therapy pack to the area of the facet joint hypertrophy can help to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Cold therapy works by decreasing the blood flow to the area, which helps to reduce swelling and pain. Cold therapy is especially helpful in the first few days following an injury or flare up, as it helps to reduce inflammation in the joint.
Heat therapy, on the other hand, can be similarly helpful in treating facet joint hypertrophy. Heat therapy increases the blood flow to the area and can help to reduce stiffness in the joint while also promoting healing. Heat therapy is also helpful in alleviating pain and increasing range of motion in the joint. It is important to note that both cold and heat therapy should not be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time.
3. Take Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be effective in treating facet joint hypertrophy. NSAIDs work by reducing inflammation in the joint, which can help to reduce pain and stiffness. It is important to speak to your doctor about the appropriate dosage and timing of using these medications.
In some cases, doctors may recommend steroid injections to the affected area. Steroid injections contain a corticosteroid, which helps to reduce inflammation and pain in the joint. These injections can provide relief from pain for several weeks, although the effect can vary from person to person. Again, it is important to consult with your doctor to determine if steroid injections are right for you.
4. Use Assistive Devices
A brace or support is designed to help reduce pain and limit movement of the affected joint. Braces can be custom fitted to you and worn when performing everyday activities or just while at rest, allowing you to manage your condition and reduce pain.
Cane or Walker
If you have difficulty walking or managing physical activities due to your condition, using a cane or walker can help alleviate pain. These assistive devices provide additional support and balance, allowing you to move around more easily.
5. Consider Surgery
In rare cases, joint replacement surgery may be recommended to treat facet joint hypertrophy. This surgery is typically used when other treatments have not provided sufficient relief. During this procedure, the damaged joint is replaced with a prosthesis made of artificial materials.
Another option for treating facet joint hypertrophy is joint fusion surgery. During this procedure, the affected joint is fused together with metal hardware. This procedure is often used when other treatments have failed to provide sufficient relief.
People also Ask
What are the symptoms of facet joint hypertrophy?
The most common symptoms of facet joint hypertrophy are chronic pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility in the affected joint. Other symptoms can include fatigue, swelling, and inflammation.
Is it possible to prevent facet joint hypertrophy?
Although it is not possible to completely prevent facet joint hypertrophy, there are certain things you can do to reduce your risk of developing the condition. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and using proper posture when lifting objects can reduce the risk of developing facet joint hypertrophy.
What happens if facet joint hypertrophy is left untreated?
If facet joint hypertrophy is left untreated, the condition may worsen over time, leading to increased pain and decreased range of motion in the joint. In some cases, untreated facet joint hypertrophy can lead to long-term deformities and disability.
Facet joint hypertrophy can be a difficult condition to manage, but with the right treatment, it is possible to reduce pain and stiffness in the affected joint. Becoming more active, using cold or heat therapy, taking anti-inflammatory medications, using assistive devices, and considering surgery are all effective strategies for treating facet joint hypertrophy. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist to determine the best course of treatment for your individual situation.