What is Facet Pain?

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Facet pain is a condition that causes pain in the neck, back, or both. Studies show that 15% to 41% people suffering from chronic back pain are experiencing facet joint syndrome.

Facet joint syndrome, also known as facet pain, refers to a common condition that affects the facet joints. It can be caused by several factors, including injury, age, and overuse.

Facet joints allow you to move by allowing small pieces of the spine between each vertebra. These joints provide the stability and flexibility necessary to carry out basic activities such as walking or turning your heads. The cartilage is a smooth, elastic material that covers the facet joints. This allows them to glide over each other.

These joints are always working, as you can see. The cartilage, or protective “cover”, can become worn down over time, causing pain in everyday activities. The friction between bones can cause discomfort and tenderness.

This can cause damage to your joints, chronic pain in the back, and eventually facet joint syndrome. This short video will explain more about facet-related pain.

What causes Facet Joint Syndrome?

Facet pain is caused by inflamed or eroded cartilage. There are many reasons this can occur, including:

  • Aging

Facet pain is most commonly caused by the natural wear and tear on the facet joints that occurs with age. Your spine can slowly deteriorate as you get older due to years of activity and strain. Facet pain can be caused by a variety of age-related degenerations, such as malalignment or cartilage erosion.

  • Age-related spine degeneration

Other degenerative conditions of the spine that can be caused by aging include osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis. These conditions can cause the degeneration of many spinal structures, including facet joints.

  • Conditions that can inflame the spine

Ankylosing Spondylitis or rheumatoid arthritis can already cause damage to and inflammation of the joints. If left untreated, these inflammatory conditions may also cause pain in the back.

  • Traumas to the body

Most likely, facet pain in the cervical region (upper back), and thoracic area (middle back), is due to trauma. Whiplash can be caused by whiplash in a car accident, or sports-related spinal injuries.

What are the symptoms of facet pain?

Facet joint syndrome is a condition that causes unilateral back pain. It can range from mild to moderate discomfort. In severe cases, the pain may spread to the entire limb.

Other symptoms can vary depending upon the region that it affects. These are the clinical manifestations for facet pain in cervical, thoracic and lumbar areas.

  • Cervical sidet joint syndrome

The cervical facet pain is felt in the neck and shoulders. These areas can feel tender and radiating pain upon palpation. Pain can also be felt when the neck is extended or rotated.

  • Thoracic facial facet joint syndrome

Thoracic facet pain is a condition that affects the middle of the back. It can cause pain and discomfort during movement.

  • Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome

Lumbar facet pain is described as radiating pain at the lower back. Tenderness and pain can often spread to the buttocks or deep in the thighs. This condition can also make it painful and difficult to perform certain movements such as standing straight or getting up from a seated position.

This article was written by a medical professional at Florida Medical Pain Management. https://www.fmpm.com/ is proud to offer comprehensive pain management services to a diverse group of patients. Patients at Florida Medical Pain Management can get help managing hip, knee, leg, and neck pain. The practice also offers comprehensive arthritis management, along with treatments for auto accidents, sports, and work injuries.