What is Facet Joint Syndrome, What You Should Know

Facet joint syndrome is a chronic pain condition causing severe back and neck pain that affects your quality of life. The pain usually develops in the joints in your vertebrae due to joint damage. A facet joint joins the vertebrae together in your spine. Suppose you have facet joint syndrome in Shrewsbury, the experts at the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine can help relieve your pain. The team uses advanced and minimally invasive techniques to provide the most excellent care available. Contact them today to learn more.

What is facet joint syndrome?

Facet joint syndrome is a health condition that affects the joints that join your vertebrae together. Usually, there are 33 vertebrae in the spine with two facet joints between each pair of vertebrae. The joints enhance spine flexibility and stability.

The facet joints have a cartilage layer that reduces the friction during the bones’ movement.  Synovial membrane lubricates the joint with synovial fluid. When the nerves on facet joints compress, they cause facet joints irritation and inflammation, leading to pain, among other uncomfortable symptoms.

What are the causes of facet joint syndrome?

Facet joint syndrome may occur due to:

  •       Infection
  •       Degenerative disc disease
  •       Osteoarthritis
  •       Degenerative spondylolisthesis
  •       Synovial facet joint cyst
  •       Poor posture
  •       Aging effects
  •       Overweight or obesity
  •       Genetics
  •       Heavy lifting or repetitive stress or movements

What are the symptoms of facet joint syndrome?

Usually, the symptoms will depend on the area of the affected facet joints.


When facet joint syndrome occurs on your cervical spine, it causes neck pain which often originates from your shoulders and arms. It also causes headaches that may lead to difficult movements.

Lower back

Facet joint syndrome in your lumbar spine causes pain in the lower back spreading down to the buttocks and legs. The pain may also lead to limited movement, including walking and standing.

When to see a doctor

You should seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as

  •       Back or neck pain that does not improve with medication
  •       Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs
  •       Fever, sudden weight loss, and redness of the skin
  •       Unable to control bladder or bowel movements


During your consultation at the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine, your provider reviews your medical history, evaluates your symptoms, and performs a thorough physical exam.

The team also assesses any limited movements along your spine and conducts muscle strength tests and reflexes to check for nerve damage. Your provider may request other tests such as CT scans, X-rays, MRI, and facet joint block.

Treatment for facet joint syndrome

There are various facet joint syndrome treatments to relieve pain and inflammation. They include:

  •       Steroids
  •       Exercise and physical therapy
  •       Posture correction
  •       Prescription pain relief
  •       Muscle relaxants
  •       Activity modification
  •       Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs
  •       Facet joint block local anesthetic injection

Where the above treatment options do not provide relief, your provider may recommend surgery. Surgical procedures to treat facet joint syndrome include:

  •       Spinal fusion
  •       Facet rhizotomy
  •       Radiofrequency ablation
  •       Facet debridement

Consult a facet joint syndrome specialist today

Do not allow facet joint pain to take control of your life. Seek effective treatments at the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine today; call their office to schedule your consultation.