FACET JOINT PAIN

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MT Lady
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 10/13/2011 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to the rheumy yesterday just for the usual 4 month follow up, get my Rx, and I mentioned to him the pain I'm having in the middle of the night, when I turn over, which I attributed to sciatica -- I have degenerative disk disease at several levels, lumbar region. He tells me it is most likely NOT sciatica because sciatica is caused by activity and merely turning over in bed is not activity. He said it is facet joint pain caused by the DDD/arthritis. This is new to me. He said it can be treated by exercises, either with physical therapy or just Google it and do them at home, and possibly getting facet joint injections. He said there is a lot less steroid med in the facet joint injections than epidurals. Just wondering if anyone here has experience with this? What worked for you? I'd love to get rid of this pain. It can be exquisitely painful at times.
thanks
Miriam

chanterelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 10/13/2011 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Miriam, I know what you mean! The pain can become unbearable. I have suffered with that a lot lately - my facet joint has popped in and out rendering me disabled for several days. After trying a host of things the only thing that works for me are chiro adjustments (only if it is actually out) and gentle massage. Oh, and stretches. Pain keeps me up and awake much of the night most nights so I normally run on very little sleep. It drives me to get up and walk around - it's hard to leave a cozy bed and husband when it is cold out to walk around!

Injections have not helped me but they have helped many. Perhaps it is worth a try?
Back injury 2007 with 3 herniated discs, IT band syndrome, myofascial pain, DDD.
Rotator cuff injury both shoulders.
Rheumatoid arthritis back.
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease February 2011.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia April 2011.
Insomnia forever but worse the past few years due to pain and discomfort.

bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 10/14/2011 5:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Miriam, I also suffer from facet syndrome. The facet are the bones that stick out from the vertebre which allow us to swivel and turn various ways. When the disc space between the vertebre gets narrowed from the ddd the facet rub together causing the cartlidge on them to wear off causing nerve pinching or bone spurs to form. Mine tend to cause alot of muscle spasms along my sides and into my hips. Some nights all I do is turn because staying in one position makes me ache. Sometimes sleeping in the recliner helps.

Normally radiofrequency ablation is done for the facets. This is where they insert a needle into the nerve, heat it to a certain temperature disabling the nerve so it won't send pain signals to the brain. It is like any other procedure where maybe it will work for up to 18 months or it won't. Your doctor should do nerve block testing beforehand to find the right nerve. My arms are getting tired typing so you can search the web for more info, youtube also has some informative videos.

I've found the cold helps relieve the pain from the facet. I also use tramadol (non-narcotic pain med) along with tylenol and baclofen (muscle relaxer). Everyone is different though so you will have to work with your doctor to find the right mix for you. Never had much success with PT helping with this.

Let us know how everything turns out!
---Jag---


DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3 & L-3/4, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17757
   Posted 10/14/2011 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Miriam, I did find this site that has some suggestions as to what to do to help with facet joint pain.  You might try some of these.
 
 
I get bursitis in my hips and it runs down the side of my leg to my knees.  I've tried ice and exercise but that didn't help.  I rubbed some Sombra gel on my hip area last night and it calmed it down and I was able to be comfortable and sleep!  This might help you, too.
 
I hope you find what helps you soon.  Back pain is miserable.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Glaucoma, Scoliosis
************************
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 10/14/2011 12:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone. Sherrine, I did Google facet joint pain and came up with the website you suggested. They lean toward surgical procedures or injections. I was just wondering if anyone here has had any luck with anything else. I've never heard of Sombra gel...is this something new? Have you been using it for any length of time. I did Google it and it seems to be all natural, which I am all in favor of.
thanks again
Miriam
Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, DDD L1/L2, L3/L4, L5/S1, sciatica, hypothyroidism.

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17757
   Posted 10/14/2011 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I've written about it several times on here but it's been a while.  My massage therapist introduced me to this.  It isn't greasy, either, and has a pleasant scent.  I used it last night.  I was watching television right before bed and couldn't finish watching the program because the aching was bad and I couldn't get comfortable.  I was sitting on an ice pack to try to help but that didn't work.  So I put the Sombra on and went to bed.  The pain calmed down in just a few minutes.  It feels cool on your skin.  I really like this stuff!
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Glaucoma, Scoliosis
************************
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Thewino
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 10/14/2011 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had the facet joint injections about four times. I had them done in the MD's office and left about an hour after they were done. My opinion is that they are helpful if you are having shooting pain into your buttocks or legs. The problem is that the injections don't usually last more than eight months.

MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 10/15/2011 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thewino, thank you for sharing...8 months, in my opinion, is wonderful. I have had epidurals and the longest one has lasted is two months. The facet pain I'm having is in my buttocks, both of them, down the back of my legs. The pain can truly be excrutiating, especially upon wakening. I take Vicodin and I'm guessing it's worse in the AM because I've been without it all night. Thankfully, it hasn't been too bad overnight. Now I'm having some awful pain in my right knee, the back of my knee and I'm wondering is this part of this too? I feel like I'm falling apart. And all this after a really wonderful week last week. One of our sons was in, with DIL and grandsons and we spent four days walking all around downtown Chicago, an average of 3 miles a day...yes, I can hardly believe it myself, but very casual, with rest stops in between and I did fine; I was exhausted at the end of each day, but ok. Since they left, I haven't been able to catch up on my rest, been so exhausted, and now this God awful pain.
Miriam
Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, DDD L1/L2, L3/L4, L5/S1, sciatica, hypothyroidism.

beachlover89
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 265
   Posted 12/1/2011 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had the these done several times...and the pre-test...lots of needles in my neck! urghh :(
Fibromyalgia 11/11
Raynaud's 11/11
High Blood Pressure 9/11
Migranes 2008
GERD 10/11
Mitro Value Prolapse 1977
Degenerative Disc Disease 2009
Cervical radiculopathy/Herniated Disc 2008
Cervical osteoarthritis 2009
Arthritis 2009
Nerve Damage 2008
Depression/Anxiety 2009

hope floats
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 3/1/2018 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I have lumbar facet joint syndrome from DDD and Osteoarthritis. It is very painful. Like someone else mentioned, turning in bed is awful pain and challenging to do. I also have problems if I sit too long, stand too long or walk too long. I have had Radiofrequency Ablations 3 times. I tend to get about 12 - 18 months of pretty good relief.
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