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Facet Joint Syndrome – A Common Cause of Back and Neck Pain

The adult spine is made up of on average 24 individual vertebrae (Some people may have more or less). The back portion of the vertebrae make up the facet joint complex. This is the part of the joint that allows our spines to bend, move and twist. They also give our spine stability throughout these movements, protecting the spinal column and nerves from excessive movement and stress. Just like any other joint in our body, the facet joints can be strained from excessive poor movement, which can cause pain and injury.

A model of a Lumbar Spine in a Chiropractic Office

Pain from the facet joints can occur after an acute injury, such as a whiplash injury to the neck, or from chronic long term physical stress from heavy workload, poor lifting or high impact physical activity. The pain from the facet joints can be felt locally on the spine, but can also radiate into adjacent areas. Facet joint dysfunction in the neck can cause pain into the head and shoulders, mimicking other types of headaches. Lower back facet joint dysfunction often radiates into the lower limb, mimicking sciatica and lumbar disk herniation. Studies have shown a prevalence of facet joint pain in 27-40% of those with lower back pain (2)

The Chiropractors at Anderson Family Chiropractic Health Centre in Mackay are trained to effectively determine the origin of your pain and determine a treatment plan to help reduce the pain and dysfunction that comes along with facet syndrome and many other types of back, neck and extremity pain.



2.     Perolat, R., Kastler, A., Nicot, B., Pellat, J. M., Tahon, F., Attye, A., Heck, O., Boubagra, K., Grand, S., & Krainik, A. (2018). Facet joint syndrome: from diagnosis to interventional management. Insights into imaging9(5), 773–789.


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