The spinal cord includes a complex network of nerves that extend throughout the body to each limb. Unfortunately, degenerative conditions like spinal stenosis and facet joint syndrome can impact these sensitive nerves, leading to chronic back pain and numbness in the extremities.
Seeing a qualified pain specialist in New Jersey can address the persistent aches and discomfort that come with spinal stenosis and other conditions. Thankfully, our caring medical staff at NJ Pain Care Specialists are available to help. Dr. Bram and the team have years of experience diagnosing and treating chronic pain.
A healthy spine consists of the cervical spine, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine. Inside the spinal column is the spinal cord, containing numerous nerves running from the brain’s base to the bottom of the spine, with nerve branches extending throughout the body.
Spinal stenosis is an orthopedic condition describing a gradual narrowing of the spinal canal. Inside a healthy spine, there’s plenty of space inside the spinal canal for the spinal cord. However, if the intervertebral discs between the vertebrae wear down, the spine’s bones can rub together and compress nearby nerves.
Spinal stenosis is more likely to develop in one out of 1,000 people over 65 or five of every 1,000 over 50, according to StatPearls. Herniated discs can push on nerves and occupy precious space inside the spinal column. Spinal stenosis can also develop due to disc degeneration, spinal cord trauma, tumors inside the core, and bony spurs from arthritic vertebrae.
If you have cervical or neck stenosis, you’ll likely experience neck pain that radiates to one or both arms. Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, and fingers is also possible.
Symptoms of lower back stenosis include lower back pain that radiates through the buttocks and legs .
Treatment for spinal stenosis often includes:
Though most people with spinal stenosis can alleviate their symptoms through conservative, non-invasive treatments, surgery may be necessary if previous treatments don’t help. For example, a laminectomy will remove the bony growths that cause stenosis to give the compressed nerve more room.
Facet joint syndrome is a degenerative spinal condition resembling arthritis. It develops when the cartilage inside multiple facet joints that connect spinal bones has inflammation. The inflammation then triggers nearby nerve endings, which send pain signals to the back and neck.
According to the National Library of Medicine, facet joint disease accounts for 14% to 41% of chronic lumbar pain. According to Physiopedia, about 55% of facet joint syndrome cases occur in the cervical vertebra in the neck, with around 30% developing in the lumbar or lower back region.
Age is the most common cause; the cartilage inside joints naturally wears down. Poor posture, repetitive movements, and other degenerative spinal conditions like spinal stenosis are also risk factors.
Diagnostic blocks or medial branch blocks can help diagnose facet joint syndrome, if injecting medication near the nerves around the facet joint reduces pain by 75%.
At NJ Pain Care Specialists, our medical team uses various techniques and interventions to relieve patients with spinal stenosis or facet joint syndrome. Our board-certified founder and experienced team strive to find fast, effective solutions to minor and complex cases of back and neck pain in New Jersey.
Our doctors accept some insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Call (732) 720-0247 to request an appointment with NJ Pain Care Specialists. Same-day appointments may be available.
Learn how trigger point injections can ease your chronic back pain, then book your appointment with us.
The best way to keep spinal stenosis from getting worse is through physical therapy. Most physical therapists will use a combination of massage, hot and cold therapy, exercise, and stretching to strengthen the body, help tense muscles relax, and prevent additional spinal compression.
Unfortunately, facet joint syndrome isn’t curable. Still, you can manage the back pain the condition causes with physical therapy, exercise, and medication.
If you have spinal stenosis, you should avoid heavy lifting and poor posture.
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