What is a facet joint?

Facet joints are pairs of small joints in between the vertebrae in the back of the spine. These joints have opposing surfaces of cartilage, which limits friction between the bones. The joint is surrounded by a capsule filled with a small amount of synovial fluid.

What are symptoms of facet joint problems?

Symptoms of Lumbar Facet Joint Disorders

  • Localized pain. A dull ache is typically present in the lower back. …
  • Referred pain. The pain may be referred to the buttocks, hips, thighs, or knees, rarely extending below the knee. …
  • Radiating pain. …
  • Tenderness on palpation. …
  • Effect of posture and activity. …
  • Stiffness. …
  • Crepitus.


What causes facet joint pain?

The most common causes of facet joint syndrome are:



Trauma such as whiplash or a fall. Overuse due to playing sports or heavy labor demands. A family history of facet joint disease. Other factors such as excessive weight, infection or disease.

Can facet joint pain be cured?

Because facet joint syndrome develops with age, there is no way to “cure” it with non-surgical treatments. However, the vast majority of people are able to manage their symptoms without surgery for many years.

Is walking good for facet joint pain?

Lumbar (lower spine) facet joint pain can present as low back pain, buttock pain, and pain in the back of the thighs. Prolonged walking and standing can make the pain worse. Sitting usually relieves the pain as stress is taken off the facet joints.

Is facet joint pain serious?

Facet joint syndrome is an arthritis-like condition of the spine that can be a significant source of back and neck pain. It is caused by degenerative changes to the joints between the spine bones. The cartilage inside the facet joint can break down and become inflamed, triggering pain signals in nearby nerve endings.

How do you fix facet joint pain?

Treatments that may be performed at home to relieve lumbar facet pain include:

  1. Applying heat therapy. …
  2. Using a cold pack. …
  3. Supporting the lumbar curve. …
  4. Avoiding activities that worsen the pain. …
  5. Staying active. …
  6. Engaging in low-impact exercises. …
  7. Using a supportive brace.


Do facet joint problems show on MRI?

Often, arthritic changes in the facet joints can be seen on x-ray imaging. Advanced 3D imaging studies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomography (CT) scans, are also essential to proper diagnosis.

Where do you feel facet joint pain?

Typically, facet joint pain feels like a dull ache, localized to one area of the spine. The pain may be experienced on one or both sides, and often in the lower back or neck. Movements toward the affected joint will cause pain.

How do you stretch a facet joint?

Quote from Youtube:
Into the ground so hold that for about three to five seconds. And then do ten of those. Then you're going to go up into a bridge.

How do you keep your facet joints healthy?

Self-care: To prevent painful episodes of facet joint syndrome, you need to keep your spine aligned and use correct posture. Your doctor may also suggest that you improve your sleeping, sitting, and standing habits. Losing those extra pounds can also alleviate your pain by reducing the load on your joints.

Is heat good for facet joints?

Initial treatment begins with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine to relieve any swelling and inflammation that is causing pain. Ice can also aid in this, but heat should be avoided for the first 48 – 72 hours since it will cause more inflammation in the area.