IS IT FACET JOINT PAIN
Where is the Facet Joint and Why Does it Hurt?
The first key to understanding facet joint pain, also known as facet joint syndrome, is understanding the anatomy. There are numerous facet joints in the body; they are the small joints behind and between each of the vertebrae in the spine, allowing you to bend forward and backward but controlling twisting motion of the spine. Everyday wear and tear, arthritis, or a single injury can damage these joints, damaging the joint’s cartilage and creating chronic and sometimes debilitating low back pain.
When Facet Joint Pain Becomes Chronic
Chronic facet joint pain is defined as pain originating in the facet joints which has lasted for three months or longer. When facet joint pain becomes chronic, it may also be known as facet joint syndrome. The facet joint pain may occur on its own, or in combination with other sources of low back pain. If believe your low back pain is caused by the facet joints, learning about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options can help you find the relief you need.
Symptoms of Facet Joint Pain
How do you know if the pain you’re feeling is being caused by a facet joint problem? There are some common symptoms:
- Low Back Pain: Usually a dull ache on one or both sides of your lower back. In rare cases, this pain may radiate into the leg.
- Pain relieved by bending forward: Pressure, or load, on the facet joints may be lessened when you bend forward a position called spinal flexion. This causes many people suffering from lumbar facet pain to find relief when they bend forward.
Causes of Facet Joint Pain
There are a number of disorders that can affect the joints – including those that result in facet joint pain or facet joint syndrome. Learn more about the most common causes:
- Facet Degeneration
- Facet Joint Injury
- Synovial Cysts
Diagnosing Facet Joint Pain
Though one of the first steps in getting to the bottom of facet joint pain or facet joint syndrome is a thorough history and medical evaluation, there are other specific tests that physicians can conduct which can lead to a more definitive diagnosis. These include:
- Facet Joint Imaging
- Facet Joint Injections
Treating Facet Joint Pain
From non-invasive treatment options like chiropractic care to nerve ablation procedures, to surgery, there are now more options for treating facet joint pain than ever before. Talk to a physician with experience treating facet joint pain to learn which of these options may be right for you:
- Physical Therapy
- Facet Joint Injections
- Nerve Ablation
- Facet Restoration