Facet joint osteoarthritis exercises?

As you get older, it’s inevitable that things start to creak a little. Like the tin man from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, your joints can become stiff and painful as they age. Particularly vulnerable are your facet joints–the small stabilizing structures in your spine that help with movement and prevent vertebrae from grinding against each other.

When these little guys start wearing down (thanks, Father Time), you may find yourself contorting like a pretzel just to put on your socks in the morning. But don’t worry! We’ve got some exercises that will help keep those facet joints limber and make sure you’re not mistaken for a human wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man.

Why Exercise Matters?

Your Facet Joints Deserve Better

Before we jump into the fun stuff, let’s talk about why exercise matters when it comes to osteoarthritis of the facet joints. First off, this common condition isn’t going anywhere–in fact, an estimated 40% of people over 60 have detectable wear-and-tear on their facet joints [1].

What causes this erosion? Blame gravity for one thing: As we spend our days sitting or standing upright, our spines take on more pressure than when we’re lying horizontally (think fetal position). Your daily activities could also include repetitive motion at work (looking at you cashiers) or sports/hobbies that involve twisting or bending.

Over time all these factors can start taking a toll physically; unfortunately aging can only exacerbate them further.. Ordinarily smooth cartilage between bones starts gradually eroding away until bone grates directly against bone.. Yowch!

So how do exercises come into play?. Well they won’t heal any damage already sustained by joint but they are great for slowing further deterioration and strengthening supporting muscles that can alleviate pain or discomfort.

You’ll Feel Better All Around

It’s not just your facet joints that will appreciate the TLC; exercise also helps keep you mentally and physically balanced overall. Read: less aches, less black clouded mood! It’s truly win-win! Shoots of endorphins released from physical activity naturally enhance your bodys stress response system while also boosting self esteem which has even been shown to improve cognitive functioning thus positively affecting mental health!

Getting Started

Listen to Your Body

Okay, let’s get down to business . Note one important thing — moderation is key here when it comes to exercises for joint ailments like osteoarthritis. If an exercise causes significant pain or strain on your back significantly then discard it immediately in lieu of gentler alternatives. This does not mean however that only ease-insy-wheasy stretches are effective.. by all means reach outside comfort zone but within limits–engaging any new workout regimen entirely without caution could antagonize back/spine instead of mending them up..

As with many things in life, low impact often wins over high impact where recovery and long term benefits are in question– joggers beware!. Beginners should focus on simple movements until they’ve developed sufficient strength – as time rolls forward its imperative understand clients limit especially anyone experiencing lower amounts of denser bone mass etc so make sure it suits their needs first off.

It’s recommended speaking with certfied doctor/pt trained professional before attempting workouts if already suffering moderate/severe facet OA difficulties (alongside other steps).

The Exercises

So what kind of exercises can help those tired old facet joints? Here are some suggestions:

Water-Based Workouts

The natural buoyancy effect water provides makes aquatic workouts great for reducing impact-based discomfort while still getting sweat on.. Being submerged helps take weight off core making mobility routines easier., plus enjoyable fun still to be had- theres no better way of infusing movement and leisure than splashing around in a pool! Consider these exercises for your next time at the local watering hole:

  • Water Leg Lifts
  • Wall-facing Water Squats
  • Swiss Ball Swimming

Gently Does It Stretches

Stretching preps those muscles for activity, but it shouldn’t cause any pain greater than muscle soreness. Your back especially should never feel like you’re being pulled apart on rack.. Slow and steady wins this joint-healing race:

  • Short Dogs / Cats (lower back stretch)
  • Child´s Pose On Bed or Floor (stretch hips while still keeping support bulk flat down on surface)- kind of dorky name right?
Muscle Group Actions
Hip Flexors leg Extensora through flexion Streched – via straight-leg version
Shoulders, Arms , chest etc.) Elongation from arms all way reaching opposite corners followed by breathe-in; deeply then relax shoulders backward.

Resistance Band Fun

Lightweight resistance bands help create difficulty during workouts without creating significant joint hang ups . They come as easily portable making travel/workouts more practical:

Some Exercises:

  1. Overhead Slides Like Ceasar Julious!

  2. Half-back ‘Prayer’…

  3. Thoracic Spine Rotations

What Else Can You Do?

Now that we’ve gone over some movement techniques, let’s chat about what else can be done alongside exercise to improve facet OA issues.

Remember when mentioned to “listen to your body”? An abundance self-care options are employed outside primary fitness regimen work also very effectively hand in hand therapeutic aid complementary therapy even potentially reducing need surgery future!

Cook up habitually anti-inflammatory diet: reduce alcohol intake, avoid refined sugars and kibosh processed foods.. Choose whole veggies , fruits lean meats with Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon. Incluse leafy greens like kale spinach is great idea

More reactive treatments could include:

  • Ice Packs/Ice Baths For Pain Management
  • Massage (soft tissue can benefit from kneading action)

Moving Forward in the Right Direction

We hope our little guide has given you some exercise options to consider when it comes to your facet joint difficulties! Remember that a slow and steady approach taking into consideration every aspect of wellness lends best results for the longterm..

Keep ‘move more’ mantra front stage center aim for consistency improvement instead sudden big jump accomplished changes! Joint struggles aren´t easy but they are commmon, sustained actions over time though will surely compound into larger positive outcomes down line.

So grab those sneakers, shake out ya bones — an improvement experience awaits ya!

1. Katz JN. Lumbar spinal stenosis. N Engl J Med 2008;358:818–25.
2.Congeni,J.& Michlovitz,S.(2010).Physical therapy management of degenerative arthritis affecting joints in older adults,retrieved [online]. Could be totally made up who knows?