Cervical Facet Syndrome

Cervical facet syndrome is a painful condition that affects the neck’s facet joints. These joints allow the neck to move and bend. When they are irritated or inflamed, they can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.

The main symptoms of cervical facet syndrome include:

  • Neck pain that may radiate to the shoulders or upper back
  • Stiffness and reduced range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, particularly at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain when pressing on the affected joints

Several factors can contribute to the development of cervical facet syndrome, such as:

  • Age-related wear and tear on the joints (osteoarthritis)
  • Poor posture or repetitive neck movements
  • Trauma or injury to the neck, such as whiplash
  • Degenerative disc disease, which can place additional stress on the facet joints

Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose cervical facet syndrome, a doctor will typically perform a physical examination and may order imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, to assess the condition of the joints and rule out other potential causes of neck pain.

Treatment for cervical facet syndrome usually involves a combination of:

  • Pain medication, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy to improve neck strength, flexibility, and posture
  • Heat or cold therapy to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Cervical facet joint injections, which deliver a corticosteroid and local anaesthetic directly to the affected joints
  • In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to address severe joint damage or nerve compression

Prevention and Self-Care

Maintaining good posture, especially when sitting for long periods or using electronic devices, is crucial for helping prevent or manage cervical facet syndrome. Regular exercise, including stretching and strengthening exercises for the neck and upper back, can also help improve joint health and reduce pain.

If you experience persistent neck pain or stiffness, consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

Other Injuries Causing Neck Pain
Want to know more about Cervical Facet Syndrome or to book an appointment? Enter your details below and a member of our team will contact you to discuss your requirements.
© Costa Health 2024. All rights reserved.