Facet joint syndrome

Facet joint syndrome is a set of symptoms resulting from degeneration of the facet joints, or joints between the vertebrae of the back. Degeneration, or osteoarthritis,  is the primary reason for the pain that results. Clearly this means that you are more likely to experience back pain as a result of facet joint syndrome as you get older, but it can be an issue at any age.


The facet joints are small joints present between each of the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. They are present at each level in the back, both on the right and left of the midline, from the neck to the pelvis.Pain felt as a result of the facet joints can be felt around the area but can also radiate into surrounding areas, even including the extremities such as shoulders, hips and legs. They help the bones articulate (move) over each other through normal activity and therefore spinal areas which move more are often greater affected. This is why neck and lumbar (low) back pain is frequently associated with facet joint degeneration.

The typical sort of pain that results from facet joint degeneration is a mechanical pain, often with stiffness, and usually worse in the morning – as most arthritic pains are. Medications and injection interventions can be excellent treatments, and some of the interventions can be virtually curative. An important approach to take is a diagnostic process to be sure that you understand the cause of your pain. This will help you to plan the best route to improving and managing it. Many people forget that maintaining mobility and an active lifestyle  will keep the flexibility of your back, and improve your pain in the long term.

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