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Understanding Cervical Facet Arthropathy

Cervical facet arthropathy, also known as cervical facet joint arthritis, is a condition characterized by the inflammation and degeneration of the facet joints in the neck. These facet joints play a crucial role in supporting the cervical spine and facilitating smooth movement. When they become inflamed or damaged, it can lead to chronic neck pain, stiffness, and radiating discomfort in the shoulders, arms, and upper back.

Causes of Cervical Facet Arthropathy

Cervical facet arthropathy can be triggered by various factors, including:

  • Degenerative Changes: As we age, the cartilage that cushions the facet joints may deteriorate, resulting in friction and inflammation.
  • Trauma: Injuries such as whiplash or repetitive stress injuries can cause damage to the facet joints, contributing to the development of arthropathy.
  • Poor Posture: Incorrect posture and spinal alignment can place undue stress on the facet joints, accelerating wear and tear.
  • Underlying Conditions: Conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis can also exacerbate facet arthropathy.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Diagnosing cervical facet arthropathy can be challenging, as there is no specific imaging test that definitively confirms the condition. However, our experienced physicians employ a comprehensive approach to diagnosis, which may include:

**Disclaimer: This webpage is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a healthcare professional for personalized diagnosis and treatment.

  • Clinical Evaluation: Thorough assessment of symptoms, medical history, and physical examination.
  • Diagnostic Injections: Injection of anesthetic agents into the facet joints to determine if there is significant pain relief, which can help confirm the diagnosis.

Once diagnosed, we offer a range of personalized treatment options to address cervical facet arthropathy:

  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and pain relievers may be prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Minimally Invasive Procedures: Interventional procedures such as facet joint injections or medial branch blocks may provide targeted pain relief by numbing the affected area.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation: This minimally invasive procedure uses heat generated by radiofrequency energy to disrupt the nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals from the facet joints.
  • Shockwave Therapy: Utilizing technology similar to that used to break up kidney stones, shockwave therapy induces microtraumas in the affected tissues to stimulate a healing response.
  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises and stretches can improve strength, flexibility, and posture, reducing pressure on the facet joints.
  • In cases where conservative treatments fail to provide adequate relief, surgical intervention may be considered. 

At Holistiq Spine & Orthopaedic Clinic, we are committed to providing compassionate care and innovative solutions for cervical facet arthropathy. Call us today at (469) 444-7246 to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards reclaiming a pain-free life.

Call Holistiq Spine and Orthopedic at 469-444-7246

We work with most major insurances.

Major health insurance accepted
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