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Facet Arthropathy

Facet arthropathy is a form of low back pain caused by osteoarthritis in the facet joints (also known as zygapophyseal joints) in the spine. This condition usually affects older patients as the result of wear and tear, but it can also arise from injuries to the spine or ligaments in the back.

For many people, two basic forms of treatment, often used in combination, will alleviate the pain:

  • Physical therapy and exercise to strengthen the core, such as yoga, Pilates or aquatic therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, and/or adjuvant pain medication

When these treatments are not enough, a patient may require procedural pain management, such as corticosteroid injections or blocking of the medial nerve through radiofrequency neurotomy, where heat generated by radio waves disrupts the nerve‚Äôs ability to transmit pain signals.


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