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What is Facet Joint Syndrome?

Facet Syndrome, one of the most common causes of back pain, is a condition that effects the articular surface of joint either side vertebra and the inferior articular process of the vertebra above it. In facet syndrome the cartilage on these joint surfaces has deteriorated to the point where friction between the joints causes swelling, tenderness and pain. Often nerve impingement also occurs.


Who is at risk of developing facet Syndrome?

Excessive use due to sports or other active lifestyles including extended periods of heavy labour

Constant bending in the lower back, or upper arms

Injuries from whiplash or even odd sleeping positions can injure your spine.

Sudden jerking motion of the neck, improper lifting, or any other trauma to the spine can increase the risk of developing Facet Syndrome.

Persons with a family history of facet syndrome are at higher risk.

Being overweight increases your risk of developing facet Syndrome

Disease: gout, arthritis, and infections increase the risk of developing Facet Syndrome.


What are the symptoms of facet syndrome?

The symptoms can vary but individuals notice one or more of the following

a) Prolonged standing often increases pain levels in lower back.
b) Pain that is more severe in the mornings and evenings, or with changes in weather such as cold and rainy weather.
c) Neck pain radiating into the shoulders, arms, or head.
d) Sitting for long periods and driving/riding in automobiles for long periods often increase pain levels.
e) Headaches, usually occurring at the base of the skull, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and aching behind the eyes.
f) Weakness or numbness in your legs or arms, shooting pains, tingling sensations, dull achiness.
g) The feeling of your bones grinding together when you move, often it seems as if you can actually hear this.
h) Lower back pain that often radiates into the buttocks, pelvic region, and/or thighs.