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Can a Chiropractor fix a bulging disc?

Are you at your wit’s end dealing with pain from a bulging disc? The effects of a bulging disc can take a toll on the body and mind. Many questions come up as you try to find the safest and most effective treatment: Can a chiropractor fix a bulging disc? What is the recovery time for a bulging disc? Read on to learn all about how to treat your injury and discover the best way to treat a bulging disc in the back.

What is a bulging disc?

If you believe you are suffering from a bulging disc, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Bulging discs are considered a normal part of aging. A bulging disc is a common spinal column injury that occurs in the intervertebral disc. However, it differs from a herniated disc, though the two are often confused.

Bulging Disc vs. Herniated Disc: What’s the difference?

Types of disc degeneration, Can a Chiropractor fix a bulging disc?

When the intervertebral disc is weakened to the point that it protrudes into the spinal canal, causing a bulging disc. The disc bulges out of the space but does not crack. A herniated disc occurs when the disc becomes cracked.

When the bulge pinches nerve roots along the spinal cord, it causes additional pressure to be placed on the surrounding nerve tissue. A bulging disc affects more areas of the disc than a herniated disc, and the associated pain may increase over time.

A herniated disc occurs when the outer layer of the disc, the annulus, cracks. A small part of the disc is affected and the soft material of nucleus pulposus protrudes. This is more painful than in the case of a bulging disc, where the nucleus pulposus material does not protrude.

What causes a bulging disc?

There are many things that could cause a bulging disc. Sports injuries or high physical activity at work can lead to spinal misalignment. Sometimes it is caused by neck or back trauma. While it’s a typical age-related injury, tobacco use can also cause the spinal disc to deteriorate and weaken, leading to a bulging disc.

Symptoms of a Bulging Disc

While symptoms may vary depending on age and activity level, the following symptoms are commonly associated with a bulging disc:

  • Tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in one or both legs
  • Back and pain spasms
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function
  • Hyper reflexivity in one or both legs
  • Paralysis below the waist
  • Deep pain over the shoulder blade or in the shoulder area
  • Pain when moving the neck
  • Radiating pain in the fingers, forearm, and upper arm

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you may have a bulging disc that requires treatment and your chiropractor may recommend that you consult your physician. Read on to discover how to treat a bulging disc in the back.

Best Treatment for a Bulging Disc in the Back

So, now to answer the pressing question: can a chiropractor fix a bulging disc?

Yes! Chiropractic care is the preferred treatment method for many patients suffering from a bulging disc. It is non-invasive and does not require drugs or injections of any kind. Chiropractic can help provide you with improved mobility, decreased pain, and overall better quality of life.

Patients suffering from a bulging disc should begin with the most conservative treatment first. Going to a chiropractor is a great place to start! If you are suffering from a bulging disc, chiropractic is a great non-surgical alternative to many treatments. Contact Select Spine & Sports Medicine today and make a consultation appointment to help you get back to feeling like your best self!

Patient Spotlight: Can a chiropractor fix a bulging disc?

Select Spine & Sports Medicine Patient, Mr Brooking with Dr Joe Denke discussing his treatment options for a bulging disc and sciatica.

Mr. Brooking suffered from severe back pain before coming to Select Spine Sports & Medicine. He was suffering from a bulging disc and sciatica and his symptoms included a sharp, shooting pain in the back that traveled down to the knees.

Mr. Brooking had confidence in his Friendswood, Texas chiropractor. He began with conservative care with rehab and chiropractic, but it wasn’t as effective as he had hoped. The MRI showed a bulging disc, so Dr. Denke referred him to a pain specialist in order to co-manage his ailments. In the meantime, he continued to receive treatment at Select Spine & Sports Medicine.

Despite seeing a pain specialist for an initial exam, after continuing with chiropractic sessions, Mr. Brooking wasn’t in enough pain to go back. He continued his treatment at Select Spine & Sports Medicine and eventually tapered off. Mr. Brooking now feels “great, with no pain at all!” He is back to cycling, walking, and even dancing with his wife.

Treatment at your Chiropractor Friendswood

At Select Spine & Sports Medicine, we take a whole-body approach to wellness that treats the entire spine, not just the pained area. Our highly trained and specialized staff provides self-care direction, exercise, and nutritional recommendations to keep you feeling your best even after your session.

We utilize Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy to decrease pressure on the affected disc and nerves. A chiropractor uses low-force techniques to help relieve the painful symptoms of a bulging disc.

How long does it take to recover from a bulging disc?

The recovery time for a bulging disc can take approximately 6 weeks to 3 months.4 However, recovery time may vary depending on the individual patient.

It’s very important not to rush recovery. While your back pain may lessen early on in your treatment, you must allow time for the disc time to fully recover before resuming your regular activities.

We Can Help Fix a Bulging Disc

Seeking treatment with a chiropractor can be a great fix for a bulging disc. If you are suffering from a bulging disc, look no further! Select Spine & Sports Medicine is here to help you heal.

Chiropractic treatment is safe for a bulging disc, herniated disc, or sciatica. Patients in the Friendswood, TX area can find safe and high-quality care at Select Spine & Sports Medicine.

Make an appointment to help safely treat your bulging disc today!

Chiropractor Near Me

Chiropractor – Friendswood, TX

Welcome to Select Spine & Sports Medicine, your home for evidence-based chiropractic care in Friendswood, Texas.

Our number one goal is to provide personalized care, to get you out of pain fast, and teach you how to keep it from coming back again.

At your first appointment one of our doctors will meet with you, discuss your complaints, and perform a thorough exam to determine the cause of your symptoms. The doctor will explain your diagnosis and educate you on how we can help you reach your goals, as well as how you can help yourself at home between treatments so you can get relief as quickly as possible.

If any specialized imaging like x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans are indicated during the exam, our doctors can order those tests and will review those results with you on your next appointment.

Next, your custom-tailored treatment will begin, and each appointment thereafter will build on the previous one, bringing you one step closer to having your life back.

Treatment Options

We offer a wide range of conservative treatment options including, but not limited to: electrical muscle stimulation therapy, heat and ice, rapid recovery compression boots, physical medicine and rehabilitation, non-surgical spinal decompression therapy, medical massage, deep tissue therapies with the doctors, kinesiology taping, spinal manipulation and extremity manipulation.


Our doctors are in network with most major health insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, Medicare, and many more.

What we treat

Our doctors specialize in one-to-one care for a variety of conditions including headaches, neck pain, back pain, herniated discs, sciatica, pinched nerves, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle injuries, sports injuries, and whiplash.

Are you ready?

Are you ready to get out of pain? Are you ready for a chiropractor who cares? Are you ready for treatment that is tailored to you and your diagnosis? Then call now and we would be honored to help you.


Why Gait Analysis Is Important With Chiropractic Care

The way a person walks, their gait, can be very telling. It can reveal problems in the feet, ankles, knees, and hips – even in spinal alignment. A problem with gait can indicate pain in a patient as well as serious conditions like diabetes and arthritis. It is a diagnostic tool for many conditions, injuries, and syndromes including autism. When it comes to chiropractic care, a patient’s gait can offer very important clues regarding the root of their complaints, allowing for a more well-rounded, whole body approach to treatment. If you think that the way you walk or moves doesn’t really matter, think again. It most certainly does matter.

What is Gait Analysis?

Gait analysis is a set of tests that are designed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of a person’s gait. It is a systematic study of human motion that involves observation as well as the use of instruments that measure body movements, muscle activity, and body mechanics.

It is intended to be used as an assessment tool and provide insight into devising a treatment plan for people who have conditions or injuries that affect their ability to walk. It is often used in sports biomechanics to aid athletes in more efficient movement and to identify problems with movement or posture, particularly those with injuries.

During the analysis, the patient may walk in a prescribed pattern or on a treadmill, that is often connected to a computer, while the chiropractor observes them from various angles. Often cameras are used, places at various points in order to capture different views including the anterior, posterior, and sides.

The patient may have markers applied to certain points on the body such as the knee, ankle, pelvis, and other areas. As they move, the computer captures specific data of the movement, providing a three-dimensional calculation of each marker. It them applies a model to assess the movement of the skeletal structure, resulting in a detailed analysis of each joint’s movement.

Factors that Affect Gait Analysis

There are certain factors that affect a person’s gait and that information must be included in order for the gait analysis to be accurate. The gender, age, height, and weight of the person is vital because men and women move differently and as a person ages their structure changes.

Excess weight or they physique can affect a person’s posture and their gait. The individual’s shoes (or lack of shoes) is important, as is their clothing, the terrain they are walking on, and anything they may normally carry, such as a purse. Other factors include:

  • Physiological factors such as body proportion
  • Psychological factors such as their state of mind, emotions, stress level, and personality type
  • Pathological factors such as neurological diseases, psychiatric disorders, trauma, and musculoskeletal anomalies

It will also measure and factor into the analysis data that includes the patient’s:

  • Length of stride
  • Cadence
  • Hip angle
  • Foot angle
  • Step length
  • Walking or movement speed
  • Other areas as needed

Advantages of a Gait Analysis

Getting a gait analysis can be very advantageous because it can provide invaluable insight into how your body is aligned and how it moves. It is a great diagnostic tool for identifying health issues related to the gait, spine, and feet and can also help provide early detection of health issues prior to the onset of symptoms.

If your Friendswood Chiropractor recommends that you get a gait analysis it could be that he or she suspects that something is going on, or it could simply mean that they want to more thoroughly examine you to provide optimal care. If you have any concerns, you should sit down with your chiropractor and ask them any questions that you have prior to undergoing the analysis. Stress and anxiety can put tension on the muscles and body, affecting the results.

What Is Cervicalgia & Can Chiropractic Help?

CervicalgiaHave you ever had a pain in the neck? And your kids or significant other don’t count. If you’ve ever had a stiff, sore neck then you’ve more than likely experienced cervicalgia. You’re not alone. The American Osteopathic Association estimates that more than 25% of Americans have experienced or chronically experience neck pain. In fact, neck pain is one of the primary causes of chronic pain, ranking number three behind knee pain (number two) and back pain (number one). Chronic pain affects around 65% of people in the United States, ranging in age from 18 to 34. They either have experienced it firsthand or care for someone who has recently experienced it. That number increases as the population ages.

It is also worth noting that most doctors prescribe pain medications but more than 33% of patients with chronic pain won’t take them because they are afraid of becoming addicted.

What is Cervicalgia?

Cervicalgia is a blanket term used to describe neck pain. It can range from a simple “crick in the neck” to severe pain that prevents you from turning your head.

Knowing the term for the pain, though, does not help when it comes to treatment because treatment lies in the cause of the pain. It can become quite complex because there are so many causes for the pain. Sometimes the cause itself must be eliminated before the treatments for the pain can be effective.

What are the Causes of Cervicalgia?

The causes of cervicalgia are vast and varied. A patient who sits at their desk for too long or sleeps in a poor position can develop neck pain.

Injuries such as sports injuries and whiplash fall at the more severe end of the spectrum. Even simple gravity can be a culprit.

The human head can weigh as much as 10 pounds, sometimes even more and the neck is tasked with keeping it upright. Just the action of fighting gravity and keeping the head erect for long periods of time (like all day) can cause the neck muscles to become strained and fatigued. This can also cause neck injuries to heal slower because the neck is almost constantly in use and under consistent stress.

How is Cervicalgia Treated?

Treatment for cervicalgia depends on both the symptoms and the cause. If you have been injured, you should seek medical attention immediately to assess the severity of the injury.

You can apply ice to help reduce inflammation and swelling, but do not delay a medical evaluation. Some neck injuries can be serious, causing very serious conditions including paralysis.

After assessment, your doctor may prescribe medication such as anti-inflammatories and stronger painkillers. A cervical collar may also be recommended since it allows the neck to rest which will promote healing.

If the pain is caused by other reasons such as stress, poor posture, or sleeping on the wrong pillow (in other words, you have a crick in your neck), you can use an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication and using a heating pad will help. Massage is also effective.

However, prevention is the best cure. When you know what is causing your cervicalgia, you can take steps to prevent it. Chiropractic can help both in prevent cervicalgia and in treating it.

Chiropractic for Cervicalgia

Chiropractic treatment can help relieve the pain from cervicalgia for many of the causes, including injury, stress, and misalignment. Depending on the cause, the chiropractor will use specific techniques to treat the root of the problem.

They will bring the body back into alignment which also helps to prevent the pain of cervicalgia. The most attractive aspect is that it allows for pain management without the use of any medications.

When you get regular chiropractic care, you can actually reduce your chances of experiencing pain in your neck and back. That is why so many people are choosing chiropractic care for their neck and back pain instead of turning to traditional medicine – because it works.

Why Lower Back Pain Sufferers Prefer Chiropractic Care

lower back painThrobbing, dull and achy, sharp and excruciating. All of these words can be used to describe lower back pain.

Unfortunately, lower back pain is a common occurrence in adults. According to the American Chiropractic Association, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, with millions of reported cases every year.

What treatment should you seek if you experience pain in your lower back? The good news is that it often heals on its own. A few days of over-the-counter pain meds, ice, and taking it easy, and you could be back to normal.

However, those who continue to deal with the pain after a few weeks’ time may choose to look for other solutions. This is also true for people who experience repeated flare ups, or chronic low back pain.

One of the best and most popular options is chiropractic care.


First of all, chiropractic care doesn’t focus solely on the pain, but helps the body heal itself. Chiropractors understand the bones, muscles, discs, and nerves in the back, and are able to figure out the reason for the pain.

From there, they can create a customized treatment plan from compresses to spinal manipulation to exercises that helps heal the area and reduces the pain.

Second, it’s a drug-free solution.

Because of its healing, restorative approach, chiropractic treatment tends to the source of the pain, instead of simply dulling it. Spine Universe estimates 6 to 12 treatments are typically needed to treat low back pain, but each individual person’s requirement may vary.

Over the course of these treatments, spinal alignment begins to balance the other parts of a person’s back and helps correct the issue causing the pain. In addition, spinal manipulation helps improve mobility and function in many cases, whereas drugs alone do not.

Finally, chiropractic care for low back pain also help minimize relapses.

Patients who experience low back pain obviously never want to deal with it again, but it can flare up periodically. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, roughly 20% of those who suffer from low back pain will eventually deal with it chronically. This can cause frustration, especially when it affects mobility.

Before you run screaming in horror to the medicine cabinet, one of the best reasons to participate in chiropractic treatment is that it helps reduce the chance of a recurrence. By working on the total body and getting it in the best shape possible, the patient is stronger and more balanced to handle their workload and other strenuous activities. Chiropractors also impart advice on how to minimize the chances of re-aggravating the lower back.

Millions of people suffer with back pain each year, and some never visit a chiropractor. Those who do choose chiropractic treatment are privy to treatment that reduces their pain, increases healing, shortens their downtime, and lessens their chances of a recurrence. If over the counter medication and ice packs haven’t worked within a few days, it’s time to make an appointment for a consultation with a licensed chiropractor. You will be happy you did!

Trigger Points & Other Myofascial Pain Relief With Chiropractic

Trigger PointsMany people think of joints, bones, and the skeletal system when they think of chiropractic, but in fact, the muscles also play an integral part in supporting the body. The muscles are layers and interwoven work to move and stabilize the spine, facilitate the movement of the body’s joints, and aid in respiration. When there is pain within this system, chiropractic can be a very effective treatment. More patients are turning to chiropractic care to treat a variety of painful conditions because it does not use addictive pharmaceuticals with unpleasant side effects; it is completely natural. Chiropractic can also keep patients from requiring surgery in many cases. So when it comes to myofascial pain and trigger points, this form of treatment is often considered optimal.

What is Myofascial Pain?

In simple terms, myofascial pain is simply pain in the muscles. When you break down the word, “myo” means muscle and “fascia” refers to the connective tissue that are interwoven throughout the body.

The pain originates in specific trigger points that are located in the muscles and fascia at various areas of the body. The pain can range in intensity from mild and annoying to severe and debilitating.

What are Trigger Points?

Trigger points are tightened, hypersensitive spots that can be located in any muscle. Different people may have different trigger points. It isn’t like specific lower back pain or neck pain which occur in specific areas of the body. Trigger points can vary from person to person.

When trigger points form, they become nodules or spots that exist in one of the muscle’s taut bands. The patient may experience a variety of symptoms including pain, weakness, burning, tingling, and other symptoms.

What often makes trigger points difficult to locate is that they cause what is known as referred pain. In other words, the person may experience the pain at the exact location of the trigger point, or the pain can be referred to other areas in the body. Referred pain usually has fairly consistent pain patterns so it can be traced to the origin – eventually.

Around 85% of the pain that individuals experience is attributed to myofascial pain. The trigger points determine whether the pain is chronic or acute. It is a condition that is very common.

How do Trigger Points Form?

Trigger points form when the muscle undergoes trauma of some type. The trauma can come from disease, accidents, work related conditions (from persistent, repetitive motion), and sports injuries.

Activities or habits that place a repetitive, long term strain on the muscles can also cause trigger points. Poor posture, improper ergonomics, and repetitive movements are the most common of these types of activities. Emotional and physical stress are often identified as causes of irritating trigger points.

Benefits of Chiropractic for Myofascial Pain and Trigger Points

Chiropractic care is often a preferred treatment for myofascial pain due to its effectiveness and drug free approach. Patients who undergo treatment will usually experience a dramatic decrease in their pain level or it will be eliminated altogether.

They also enjoy increased strength, flexibility, and range of motion. With continued chiropractic care, they will find that they have more endurance for work and recreational activities and even sleep better. It should be noted that sleep disruptions are a common complaint associated with myofascial pain.

Overall, chiropractic can give patients with myofascial pain a better quality of life with decreased incidence of injury. They are often able to lower their pain medication or eliminate it altogether.

Because chiropractic is a whole-body approach, patients learn healthy habits including diet, exercise, and mental wellness. Most of all, they can live with less pain or no pain at all.

(Eye Opening) Full Spine Adjustment with Chiropractor in Friendswood, TX (Houston, TX area)

(Eye Opening) Full Spine Adjustment with Chiropractor in Friendswood, TX (Houston, TX area)

Chiropractor in Friendswood, TX (Houston area), Dr. Joe Denke, treats Liz for chronic neck pain and lower back pain that resulted years ago after a car accident.

Liz was examined and treated with electrical muscle stimulation, heat and and active release prior to the adjustments.


Dr. Denke

Hey, it’s Dr. Denke at Select Spine and Sports Medicine. We’re here with Liz. She is a personal trainer and first form athlete. So we checked her out before you all came in and she was in a car accident about two years ago. She’s still got some neck stiffness and lower back stiffness from that and it kind of plagues her at the office and while working out, right? So we did some soft tissue work, some active release to try to loosen all that up. And now we’re going to do the adjustment. So I’m going to have you go ahead and lay on your stomach for me. Good. Now just drop your hands down. Very good. So she was mainly stiff right up here. We’re going to start up there.

Now I’m going to put a hand here and here. And I’m going to have you go ahead and breathe in and out. Good. Just relax the back. One more. Good. Okay. Now again, in and all the way out. Good. Relax. Good. And one more time. Good.

Now breathe in and hold your breath in. Good. Perfect. Okay, now relax. So now we’re going to come up here and get this upper thoracic, lower cervical. It’s really tight up here. So I’m going to go here. Just relax here. One more time. Good. Now relax. Same thing here on this side. It’s pretty tight right there. Now relax here. Good. One more. Good. Relax. Good. Okay, now turn on your side facing this way. Feel all right?

Mm-hmm (Affirmative)

Now we’re going to go straight leg on the bottom. Good. All right. Just relax here at the shoulders. I’m going to hold here and I’m going to roll you this way. Relaxed here. Good. All right. Now go the other way. That was all right?

Mm-hmm (Affirmative)

Pretty good on that first one. So here and here. So like I was saying, you work in an office all day at the computer, right?


So a lot of tightness that we see pretty often in the upper trapezius, levator scapulae. Relax right here. Just let me pull your hips around this way. Good. A little more. Perfect. Okay, now lay on your back and then I found a little bit more tightness there on the left side erector spinae and lower back. So we’re going to get to it a little bit more here. Now we’re going to work on these muscles just a little bit more here in the neck. Do a little bit active release. You all can see here. Come in here a little bit closer. So she’s got some tight muscles in this upper cervical. So what I do for that here is just contact and then rotate. Stretch that out. A little applied pressure, and really try to get these to loosen up here. Sometimes these muscles at the base of the skull, top of the neck can become tight and cause headaches. I see that a lot and they’re were a little bit tight on her here. Now we’ll go this way. Does that feel all right?

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Good. All right. Okay. I’m going to adjust here now. I’m going to start right here and I’m going to pick your head up, and you just leave your neck relaxed. I’m gonna tilt you this way. Does that feel all right there?

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Good. That feel all right?

Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Good. Now same thing this way. Relax it. Perfect. Very good. That feel all right? Good. I’ll give you a hand up. All right, so that’s it for Miss Liz.


If you are in need of a Chiropractor in Friendswood (Houston area), Select Spine & Sports Medicine is here to help!

Dr. Joe Denke is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner at:

1100 S. Friendswood Dr. Ste B Friendswood, TX 77546

P: 281-993-2122




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(Muscular) Personal Trainer Gets Full Body Adjustment By Chiropractor Friendswood TX

(Muscular) Personal Trainer Gets Full Body Adjustment By Chiropractor Friendswood TX


Chiropractor in Friendswood (Houston area), Dr. Joe Denke, treats Pearland personal trainer and fitness guru, Drew, was seen for his shoulder pain and an old low back injury. This athlete was treated with HyperVolt, RockBlade, and active release prior to the adjustments.

If you are in need of a Chiropractor in Friendswood (Houston area), Select Spine & Sports Medicine is here to help!

Dr. Joe Denke is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner at: 1100 S. Friendswood Dr. Ste B Friendswood, TX 77546

P: 281-993-2122 Website:



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How Low Speed Rear-end Accidents Can Cause Whiplash

You are sitting in your car, stopped at a traffic light. Suddenly, a vehicle rear ends your car. The impact isn’t hard although it is unexpected. You take a look at your car and see that there is minor damage, or no damage at all, to either vehicle. The bumpers absorbed the bulk of the energy from the crash so they essentially protected the car. You feel a little pain in your neck and upper back, perhaps a little dizzy or you have a headache, but you shrug it off, reasoning that it is from the unexpected jolt. After all, they didn’t hit you that hard. You exchange information with the other driver and go on your way.

The next morning is a different story. Your neck is painful and stiff. You have pain in your shoulders and back as well. A visit to the doctor reveals a diagnosis of whiplash.

Is Whiplash Real?

Some people will tell you that whiplash is a made-up injury that people use to get more money in a settlement stemming from an accident. They do not believe it is possible in a low speed rear end accident and see it as a legitimate injury claim, mainly because there are no visible marks.

Some insurance experts claim that about a third of whiplash cases are fraudulent but that leaves two-thirds of the cases legitimate. There is also a great deal of research that supports the claim that low speed accidents can indeed cause whiplash – and it is very, very real. Some patients suffer from the pain and immobility the rest of their lives.

The Mechanics of Whiplash

When a person is sitting in their vehicle they are usually upright with their head directly over their shoulders, and the neck as the support. The key to whiplash is that it is unexpected. When the vehicle is struck, the torso of the person in the first car is thrust forward. However, the head does not immediately follow but instead falls backwards, behind the torso for a split second. In this position the neck is hyperextended for the first time (to the rear).

As the torso snaps back against the back of the seat, the person’s head falls forward but is quickly yanked back as it follows the movement of the torso – then passes it. This is the second time the neck is hyperextended (to the front). The effects of this movement that lasts only a few seconds can cause debilitating pain and immobility. It is compounded when the headrests are set too far back and are too low so that they do not provide adequate support.

What to do if you are in a Rear End Collision

If you are in an accident, especially if you are rear ended, and experience whiplash, see a doctor that day – even if you don’t feel much pain. The sooner you get in to a doctor, the sooner you can begin treatment should a problem develop.

Often, people with whiplash don’t experience any effects until a day, or even two, later. The key is to stay ahead of the pain and take measures sooner rather than later to relieve it and keep it at bay. It also provides documentation should other issues arise and you need the information for legal purposes.

Seeing your Friendswood chiropractor soon after your accident can help you heal faster and manage your pain more effectively. With techniques like gentle manipulation and deep tissue massage, your neck can begin to heal almost immediately. Then you can get back to life a lot faster.

Cervical Facet Joint Pain – What You Need To Know

Facet jointFacet joint problems are among the most common sources of lower back and neck pain. They can cause debilitating, chronic problems with the neck and back and can lead to other more serious conditions and symptoms that can be disabling.

Cervical facet joint syndrome, or cervical facet osteoarthritis, is a degenerative condition marked by stiffness and pain in the cervical region (neck) of the spine. Patients are able to gain relief from various types of treatment, including chiropractic care.

What is Cervical Facet Joint Pain?

The spine is comprised of a chain of bones known as vertebrae. Each one has two facet joints on the back side and a large disc on the front side. This allows the vertebrae to stack neatly, one on top of the other, providing stabilization for the entire body.

The facet joints are synovial joints, like other joints in the body and sometimes they can become inflamed or injured, causing pain and stiffness. Cervical facet joint pain is, quite literally, a pain in the neck. It means that the joints in the neck area have become injured or inflamed. Pain from this condition can make it difficult for the patient to turn their head from side to side, or to move it up and down.

The cervical facet joints are almost always working. They undergo repetitive, constant motion and over time they can become torn or worn down. Problems within the joint can cause movement to be restricted or it can have too much movement, both of which can cause pain.

Injury, such as whiplash, to the area can also cause problems. If the condition is not treated appropriately, it can be degenerative and the patient can lose both flexibility and mobility, as well as suffer from chronic pain.

Symptoms of Cervical Facet Joint Pain

The symptoms of cervical facet joint pain tend to vary from patient to patient. A patient may experience one or several of these symptoms:

  • Tingling, weakness, or pain in the hand and arm
  • Neck pain
  • Upper back pain that can affect the shoulders
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Headaches, typically located in the back of the head
  • Swelling and tenderness at the site of the inflamed facet joint
  • Decreased range of motion and flexibility in the neck

Treatment for Cervical Facet Joint Pain

When a patient is diagnosed with cervical facet joint pain the treatment is usually fairly conservative. Their doctor may recommend soft tissue massage, physical therapy, and posture correction. This is usually combined with medications such as an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen, or muscle relaxers to ease muscle spasms in the muscles that surround the affected joint.

If those methods do not give the patient relief, the doctor may take a more aggressive approach, prescribing facet joint injections that use steroid medications injected into the affected joint. This approach is intended to keep the pain localized while reducing it. The procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting and has a good record of being effective, but the results are temporary.

Chiropractic for Cervical Facet Joint Pain

Chiropractors have had much success in treating cervical facet joint pain. They are able to manipulate the areas that are affected, restoring painful, restricted facet joints to a point where they are able to move much easier and without pain. Over time, with regular chiropractic treatments, they can help to reestablish a normal range of motion in the neck area for their patients. This is all done without any medications or injections. It is a natural, gently, effective method for relieving the pain and helping the patient enjoy a better quality of life.