Facet Joint Syndrome


Accurate diagnosis of the Facet Joint Syndrome is extremely important as similar symptoms are caused by other back pain conditions, therefore you need to get a proper and accurate diagnosis from a pain management doctor and back pain specialist. To have a better view of facet joint surfaces we request CT scan and X-rays. Your spine is very flexible, which is why it allows you to bend, sit, twist and subsequently walk and run. This is because it is not a solid block of bones, but is instead a series of smaller bones (vertebra) called facet joints. These joints’ surfaces are lined with cartilage and lubricated with synovial fluid to allow them to slide over each other, providing motion in any direction.

The main cause of this medical condition is aging, which causes the cartilage to gradually wear off and lead to increased friction. However, other causes play a part in developing the condition:

  • Overuse: because of carrying excessive weight or as a result of sports, the facet joints may be overused and damaged well before their time. 
  • Presence of other diseases such as gout, arthritis or infection: if there had been another disease already affecting the spine, the facet joints would already be damaged.
  • Damage from injuries, whiplash or incorrect sleeping posture: while the facet joints may be flexible, they do have their limits. Injuries to the spine directly damage or fracture the individual vertebra, causing them to malign. 
  • Family history of the condition: studies have shown that children may inherit maligned spinal vertebra from their parents, eventually contracting the same condition.
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