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Thread: Facet joint problems

  1. #1

    Facet joint problems

    Ive been having a bit of a nightmare with facet joints since may this year. I tweaked my back lifting something in work. But thought nothing of it. Ran on it a couple of times and it got to the stage where I had to stop the run and walk ( sharp pain each stride). I saw a sports therapist initially and it got a bit better, to the point where I could run on it with a small amount of discomfort/awareness. More recently a physio. Both said "facet joint". Ive continued to do all the stretches given. I managed to do the Saunders and Roc MM without real pain. Its never truely gone away and since the Roc seems to be having a resurgence and when I ran yesterday I had to stop a few times. Its probably worse overall now than ever. Originally never hurt doing anything other than running really (could touch toes with zero pain), now its everytime I move pretty much.
    Hurts when I walk and run- sharpish pain in lower back on left. Can extend into bum/hips. When Im sat /lying down can be more of a dull ache.
    Its really starting to get me down and making me thing I will have to jack in running. Ive made a GP appointment for next week but Im expecting a fob off.
    I bought a book called the back sufferers bible and looks like Im doing the right things if it is facet joint, so why isnt it going away!? :-(
    Has anyone else had this and got over it?
    Thanks,
    Paul

  2. #2
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    Joint problems can take up to 18 months to clear as long as you are doing nothing else to irritate it. Sorry, but patience is a virtue
    I am Kuno.

  3. #3
    Thanks for your reply. Wow 18months! Well after my appointment with the GP she recommended I take Ibuprofen for a month. This seems to have had an immediate positive impact after only a few days. I ran 10 miles (hills) 3 days ago and it felt much better until about 5miles in. This morning Ive just gone for a quick 20 minute loosener (road) and no pain whatsoever. Ill stick with this for a month and maintain the exercises/stretches and hopefully heading in the right direction. 😊 .

  4. #4
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    Good luck! Its likely that the facet was not the problem. Probably a localised multifidus strain that can feel very similar. Once a facet goes, its a much more recalcitrant problem.
    I am Kuno.

  5. #5
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Ibuprofen will be a waste of time and will just irritate your stomach.

    Try a visit to a Chiropractor, they're all private and cost about 55 for an initial appointment and 40 therafter. You'll need one a week for about 6-8wks and then progress to a maintenance pattern of 4-6 appointments a year. You'll need to be prepared to spend up to 6mths not running and modify any aspect of your life that contributes to the persistence of the problem- marginal gains in other words. Sit differently, stand differently and most importantly learn to lift properly. Also consider taking up Pilates.

    Prepare for and act as if this problem will need to be managed for the rest of your life, back injuries are often like that.
    Can't climb for toffee...

  6. #6
    Well Ibuprofen does also have a painkiller effect so maybe its just that Im feeling the benefit of (rather than beneficial reduction in enflamation) and once I go off them it will be back to normal pain. I can tell there is still something not 100% right (i.e. the Ibuprofen hasnt totally blanked everything).

    The interesting thing is Ive always been really careful with lifting. Clearly that hasnt worked out well for me.

  7. #7
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    I too have facet joint problems, looks like facet joint athritis. I haven't run since March last year. An MRI scan shows all sorts of problems, but the main source of pain they think is from a lower facet joint RH side, almost certainly caused by a few falls on my back a couple of years ago. That said it is gradually getting better compared to 9 months ago when I couldn't even cycle as my back hurt when standing up on the bike.
    I'm presuming that I will never run again, though I did manage some uphill and flat shuffling recently at The Hebden without adverse effect.
    I'b be interested to know if anyone ever had something like this and managed to return to running?
    I've been offered a temporary block via injection to see if that joint is the source of the pain. If successful then they can perform denervation on the joint to kill the nerves to stop the pain. Lasts for about 18 months as the nerves grow back. I'm tempted to have it done but am concerned that running on it without feeling pain in the joint will cause further damage to the joint.
    At least I am cycling and walking pain free now and don't need painkillers.

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