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HE AIMS OF SELF TREATMENT FOR FACET JOINT ARTHROPATHY
With facet joint trouble, the primary objectives are to raise the height of the disc and relieve the congestion of the joint; and then make it run more smoothly. In the acute phase the joint is extremely irritate and treatment is designed to ‘milk’ it of its swelling.
The technique of rocking the knees to the chest will do this. Once the joint is emptier and less painful, pivoting on the problem level helps mobilize it. The curl up exercises works it actively.
Curl ups usually bring about a dramatic reduction in pain because the raised abdominal tone lifts the spine off the painful joint.
Curl ups also relieve congestion by subjecting the joint to the normal contracting and relaxing of the muscles around it. Briefly using the tennis ball at this stage can also reduce the facet joint swelling, but care must be taken because it is easy to make things worse. You do this by lying on your back on the floor, knees bent, and press the pain away.In the final stage of treatment, dis impaction of the neurocentral core is the ultimate objective. The back block achieves this, and also restores an optimal lumbar hollow. It does this by stretching the front of the hips (the hip flexors) thus reducing an exaggerated lordosis, but it can also correct a pronounced lumbar kyphosis (less commonly a background factor with this condition) by stretching the anterior longitudinal ligament down the front of the spine.
While on the block it is often useful to rotate the pelvis in a minute twisting action which helps disengage the facets.Ordinary toe touches are also important.
These stretch shrunken facet capsules which, in the case of an exaggerated lordosis, exert a bow-string effect to keep the spine hollowed.Ultimately, diagonal toe touches pull a tethered nerve root free of adhesions in the small exit-canal (or foramen) which may have developed from longstanding inflammation. These exercises also enhance the function of multifidus.
The vigour of the action makes the muscles relax properly as the spine goes down and then works them on the way up. Their re-education helps restore joint perfusion (circulation of fluids) and leads to better control in the opening and closing of all lumbar facets.