Facet Joint Arthritis, Back Pain, & Pregnancy

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 13, 2014

pregnantMany female patients with a history of back pain are concerned that their back pain issues may negatively impact their pregnancy or ability to have children. In this article, we will talk briefly about Facet Joint Arthritis (a common low back condition) and its potential effects on pregnancy.

What is Facet Joint Arthritis?

The facet joints are the small joints in between each vertebra that stabilize the spine. These joints are largely responsible for our ability to twist and maneuver our backs.

This condition usually develops over time, and is more common in older patients. Over time, these facet joints tend to wear out. When they shrink or disappear, bone spurs can develop and cause pain whenever the patient moves. That being said, this condition can also develop in younger patients who participate in high-impact sports or activities (such as horseback riding, which puts consistent strain on these joints).

Treatments for Facet Arthritis can include chiropractic, maintaining good posture, using NSAIDs, injections to manage the pain, exercises, and possibly surgery.

Can it Impact Pregnancy?

Back pain is quite common during any pregnancy. The pain is generally located in the lumbar low back region, and can be the result of numerous causes. Generally, Facet Joint Arthritis will not cause any additional pregnancy complications that cannot be easily managed. Expecting mothers with arthritis of the facet joints may experience some additional pain as they come to term. There are several options to deal with this pain that your doctor can recommend. During the pregnancy itself, there will likely be a lot of back pain anyway. But again, there are tried and true ways of managing this pain as well (such as an epidural injection). If you have facet joint arthritis and are concerned about its impact on your pregnancy discuss your concerns with your physician.

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