Facet Joint Syndrome Causes & Symptoms

Facet Joint Syndrome Overview Facet Joint Syndrome Causes & Symptoms Facet Joint Syndrome Diagnosis & Treatments

What are the Causes of Facet Joint Syndrome?

Facet syndrome can occur anywhere in the spine. It develops in the small joints located between each vertebra called facet joints. These joints are in constant motion, providing the spine with both the stability and flexibility needed to walk, run, sit, bend and twist. The joint surfaces are lined with cartilage allowing them to glide easily over each other. Over time as we age, the cartilage gradually wears away, and in many cases growths called “bone spurs” can develop. The constant wear and tear between the joints leads to inflammation, tenderness, swelling, stiffness and pain of arthritis.

When a joint is damaged through normal deterioration, injury, or repetitive trauma, it may cause long lasting or permanent disability. In addition to age, other risk factors for facet joint syndrome include:

  • Excessive weight
  • Overuse due to sports or heavy labor
  • Presence of disease such as gout, other types of arthritis, or infections
  • Damage may stem from injuries or trauma, including whiplash, excessive lifting of heavy weight, or a fall.

What Are The Symptoms Of Facet Joint Syndrome?

The following symptoms are associated with facet joint syndrome:
Pain that is often worse in the beginning and end of the day or with a change in weather

  • Lower back pain and spasms that radiate into the buttocks, pelvic area, or thighs
  • Neck pain that radiates into the shoulders, arms, or hands
  • Headaches at the base of the skull
  • Pain in the lower back from standing long periods of time
  • Riding or sitting in the car for a long period of time can flare up facet
  • Increased pain with extended standing, sweeping/mopping, or washing dishes

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