Facet Joint Dysfunction

written by Dr Scott Bentson   |   category: Back Pain

What is Facet Joint Dysfunction?

Facet joints are relatively tiny joints which join vertebrae and allow for motion of the spine. Joint dysfunction occurs when a joint becomes fixed and painful; this can happen anywhere in the spine (neck, midback, low back). Generally, you’ll experience reduced range of motion and pain in the region of the joint. Often, muscle spasm or guarding is also present. Additionally, specific pain referral patterns are often found. In certain individuals, joint dysfunction has a propensity to recur.

How is Joint Dysfunction Diagnosed?

Specific orthopedic tests are performed to diagnose joint dysfunction. In addition to these tests, static and motion palpation are utilized; this is when the practitioner uses his/her hands and specific motions to determine if the joint is the pain generator. Joint dysfunction is not seen on X-ray, MRI or CT; however, diagnostic imaging may be ordered to rule out a more serious condition.

What are the Options for Facet Joint Dysfunction?

At Lehigh Valley Chiropractic, the two primary methods utilized for joint dysfunction include manipulation and mobilization; myofascial therapy may also be used to treat the surrounding muscles. Additionally, specific therapeutic exercises for stretching and strengthening are commonly prescribed. Other treatment options not available at Lehigh Valley Chiropractic include facet (joint) injections and pain medication. Speak with your Doctor of Chiropractic if you have any questions regarding the risks and benefits of treatment options.

Typical Treatment Plan for Facet Joint Dysfunction

Expected frequency of care is 3 appointments a week for two weeks. After the 6 sessions, a follow-up examination is performed. Depending on your progress, you will either be released from care or further treatment will be recommended.

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Dr Scott Bentson

His background in biomedical engineering/physics and specialized training as a Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) gives Dr. Scott Bentson a unique perspective and area of expertise when it comes to biomechanics and pain management.
His passion for helping people to feel their best combined with this specialized expertise has made him a chiropractor who is in high demand. Dr. Bentson lives and practices in Bethlehem, PA and enjoys sharing this practice with his wife and the creator of YouAnew Lifestyle Nutrition, Dr. Kristen Bentson.


Lehigh Valley Chiropractic Affiliations