Facet Joint Syndrome: Source of Your Neck or Back Pain?
By Jesse Cannone CFT, CPRS, CSPN
Facet joints connect your vertebrae together. They provide a smooth slippery surface allowing you to bend and twist. And they limit your range of motion just enough to prevent accidental injury of your spinal cord.
When they hurt, it can seriously reduce your ability to move normally. A painful cervical facet joint can immobilize your neck, cause an ache in your shoulder, and force you to turn your whole body just to look left or right. Pain from a lumbar facet joint may leave you unable to stand up straight, hunched over while you walk, and suffering a deep ache from your buttocks to the back of your thighs.
Doctors call this common diagnosis facet joint syndrome.
Facet joints are a common source of back and neck pain. In fact, lumbar facet joints are implicated in nearly a third of chronic lower back pain cases and nearly half of all chronic neck pain cases when no herniated disc is present.
But before you blame your facet joints for your back or neck pain,
let’s first remember a syndrome is not the same thing as a cause. Even
our family’s children’s dictionary accurately describes a syndrome as “a
group of signs or symptoms that together indicate a particular disease
Doctors often use a facet joint block (an injection of anesthetic into the facet joint) to isolate the source of pain. Then they’ll turn around and use it to “treat” the pain too. Isn’t that a little like saying your flat tire has low air pressure, so just roll it around the corner and we’ll pump some more air into it? Excuse me, but let’s pull the nail out and patch the hole first guys!
Again, facet joint pain is a symptom of a problem.
While we want to end the pain, the only way to keep it from returning is to find and correct the underlying cause. Since the root problem varies from one individual to the next, there is no one single treatment that works for everyone. It will take some effort on your part to resolve the problem but isn’t a lifetime free of the cycle of pain, doctor visits, and repeated facet joint injections worth it?
If you’re ready to end the cycle of pain, here’s what I recommend:
Short-term pain relief (while you find and correct the root problem):
The articles on this site are authoritative, because:
Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
is a subsidiary of Mindconnection.com. When you follow the links from this
site to the purchase area, you will go to Mindconnection's secure server.|
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please view theaboutus pages, or write to mark @ mindconnection.com. We do want your business.