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Michael AlzheimerMichael Alzheimer

Hey Auzzie!

Totally! Facet joint irritation is not a life sentence and can be reversed. As Kelly was referring to above, facet irritation is often due to an extension issue. If you google an image of the facet joint you’ll see that when you overextend the neck the joint closes down which can irritate the joint and surrounding area. So if your overextending your neck for hundreds and hundreds of reps on movements such as pull ups, DLs, push-ups, KB swings, cleans, etc the facets may become irritated. Take a look at TRS “Getting Started” tab and go the “The Hang” archetypes for the hang/IR position to see if you can get into the position without compensation. Often times if your lacking IR in the hang position you’re going to compensate by dumping the shoulder forward and overextending the neck. Same goes for avoiding over extension in the neck with DL’s, swings, pull-ups, etc. Cleaning up your shapes and eliminating the compensations may be all you need to calm down the area.

If you find your lacking IR here are a few videos to get started with:

As far as injections go, the pain relief from a facet joint injection is intended to help a patient better tolerate a physical therapy routine or allow them to rehabilitate his or her injury condition. The injections usually offer you a window of time to address the issue with less pain, however if you don’t address the underlying cause your symptoms are likely to come back. Also for these injections, Cortisone is commonly recommended for the treatment of joint pain. However, the use of cortisone is controversial because it tends to break down, rather than repair, joints and connective tissue, especially if done repeatedly. I’ve seen some recent research that shows PRP to more effective than cortisone injections for joint and connective tissues issues, especially long term. However, the research is not always conclusive for long term relief so ultimately, I recommend that your best bet is addressing the root cause for long term relief.