We have so many joints in our body, that we tend to overlook many of them. Out of the 360 joints (yes, that many!) you probably can name the ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows and shoulders. Yet, every connection point between two or more bones is a joint. Thus, you have joints in your hands, feet, fingers and toes. And even your spine has many joints, between each pair of vertebrae, called facet joints. This article will explain what they are, how they work and why you need chiropractic care to maintain them in good condition.
Everything You Need to Know about Facet Joints
If you look at the vertebra, you will see that it has two flat endings at the back. These flat endings are designed to fit perfectly with the endings of another vertebra, creating the entire spine.
These endings are the facet joints. They are cushioned by cartilages, synovial fluid and a joint capsule, allowing them to move smoothly and without rubbing against one another. The facet joints allow all the movements of your back; bending over, stretching backwards and turning from one side to another.
The correct alignment of these joints is critical not only for your freedom of movement, but also for the proper functioning of your nervous system. Misaligned facet joints can put pressure on the nerves passing through the spine and reducing the frequency and quality of the messages sent by the brain.
What Are the Risks of Developing Problems in the Facet Joints?
Chiropractic Offices Near You
These joints are subject to immense wear and tear on a daily basis. Even keeping your body erect as you walk is an effort. Carrying weights, performing repetitive bending over movements and other types of physical activities add strain to the spine and affect facet joints.
Normally, joints and bones can fix themselves. The marrow has the role of repairing damage in bones caused by regular wear and tear. This process is more active throughout childhood and the young adult period. This is why you tended to heal very quickly from falls and various accidents as a kid. The same accidents, taking place in your middle age, take longer to heal and may not fully heal on their own.
This is exactly why you need a chiropractor to help you prevent degeneration of the facet joints or reduce the first signs of damage.
How Does Chiropractic Care for Facet Joints Work?
Chiropractors specialize in identifying misalignments in joints and other mechanical impediments to the proper functioning of the nervous system and to complete mobility. The spine is probably the series of joints most prone to trauma and degeneration, sometimes with devastating consequences.
A chiropractor can pinpoint the misalignment between two or several pairs of facet joints and gently restore them to their natural position. In case of inflammatory conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis, the chiropractor can restore your mobility, by reducing the ossification of the joint and encouraging proper blood flow and a natural range of movements.
Ignoring issues with your spine, including stiffness and back pain, can have unpleasant consequences in the future. The aging human body is less capable of repairing internal damages and the unhealed injuries and trauma will get worse over time.
The Best Approach: Going for Maintenance Chiropractic Check-Ups
Just as you go to your doctor for annual tests to see that you are in good health, you should also go for regular chiropractic check-ups to know that your spine and joints work properly. As medicine helps us live longer, we should be able to enjoy this extra time and stay active. Chiropractic ensures that you can do that, by keeping your body mobile, flexible and free of pain.
If you feel that your back is stiff or painful, go for a chiropractic evaluation which will include a check-up of your facet joints. Find a chiropractor near you in our online directory and book your first appointment now!
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