So you wake up and you notice your neck is feeling stiff and you are experiencing pain to turn your head. What could be a potential cause of that? One possible explanation could be Facet Syndrome which is what we are discussing this week. Statistics say that 54-60% of people with neck pain are experiencing some type of facet issue so these are much more common than most people would think. Common signs of Facet Syndrome are difficulty turning your head side to side or looking up and down, with pain on one side of your neck that may or may not radiate down to the top of your shoulder along your upper trapezius. So let’s discuss what this condition is and how you can get some relief at home.
- To give you some background, in your spine you have joints along the back portion of your vertebral column. Each joint is a connection of your vertebrae to the one above and below it. These joints allow the motion of looking right/left and looking up/down. When one of these joints gets irritated, or inflammation gets increased in the joint, it can be painful when those joints try to move.
- Some potential aggravating factors can be talking on the phone for long periods of time with no change in position, constantly keeping your head turned to the left/right to watch tv for long periods of time with no change in position, sleeping with your head turned in a strained position.
So what can you do at home to help alleviate the pain associated with this neck issue? You can start out with applying some heat to the side of your neck for 10-15 minutes at a time to help bring increased blood flow to the area and promote relaxation of your muscles prior to stretching and moving. Once your muscles have relaxed a little bit, with your head supported on a pillow or the back of a chair, start with little movements side to side within a pain-free range. As your body gets used to the motion you’ll be able to move farther through your normal range. After going side to side, with your head supported again, moving your head up and down on your supported surface. We will be posting a video on our Facebook and Instagram this week to help demonstrate the best way to do this at home.
If you have any questions or need us to take a look at your neck please call us at (817) 923-9000. We don’t mind answering questions via phone, email, or setting up a quick 15 minute FREE screen for you. Thanks for reading, and we hope to hear from you soon!