Facet Joint Arthritis Specialist

Premier Pain Management

Anesthesiologist and Pain Management Physician located in Northwest Bakersfield / Rosedale, Bakersfield, CA

You can develop arthritis in any joint, including the tiny facet joints that connect the vertebrae in your spine. At Premier Pain Management in Bakersfield, California, Philip Khoury, DO, a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist, diagnoses and treats facet joint arthritis. He uses customized treatment plans that relieve your pain and restore your quality of life. If you have chronic back pain, call Premier Pain Management or schedule a consultation online today for expert assessment and treatment.

Facet Joint Arthritis Q & A

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is the collective term for a group of diseases that cause inflammation and pain in your joints. The degenerative type of the disease — osteoarthritis — is the most prevalent form of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage that lines and cushions your joints wears away, and your bones create friction when they rub against each other. The friction leads to inflammation and pain.

You can develop arthritis in the facet joints in your spine, sometimes called facet joint syndrome. This condition is a common cause of low back pain and neck pain. When the cartilage in your facet joints is damaged or wears away, the inflammation can cause pain in the joint, as well as radiating pain and numbness if the swelling compresses a nerve. It can also reduce your range of motion, making it difficult for you to twist or bend your spine. 

What are facet joints?

Your facet joints are the two small joints at the back of each of your vertebrae that connect it to the next spinal bone. Facet joints allow your spine to twist and bend but protect you from overextension. They also house and protect your nerve roots where your peripheral nerves extend out from your spinal cord and into the rest of your body. 

How is facet joint arthritis diagnosed?

Dr. Khoury provides comprehensive exams to assess your back pain and diagnose its cause. In many cases, he confirms facet joint arthritis by injecting an anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medicine into your joint. If the injection provides immediate relief, your pain is due to arthritis. 

How is facet joint arthritis treated?

At Premier Pain Management, Dr. Khoury provides customized treatment plans to relieve facet joint arthritis symptoms and restore your spinal health. He takes a conservative, patient-focused approach to pain management, and usually begins with noninvasive treatments such as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and at-home stretches for your back, hips, and hamstrings. 

However, if conservative treatments don’t adequately reduce your pain, Dr. Khoury might suggest facet joint injections to deliver corticosteroids directly into the inflamed joint or radiofrequency ablation. He uses state-of-the-art fluoroscopic X-rays to ensure he targets the correct joint causing your pain.

If you have chronic back pain and stiffness, call Premier Pain Management or make an appointment online today to find out if facet joint arthritis is the root cause of your pain and get the treatment you need.