What is Facet Joint Syndrome?
The facet joints are small stabilizing joints in the spine, located behind and under vertebrae. They allow movement and twisting of the spine near the neck and lower back. But, not too much or we’d look like one of those inflatable things outside car dealers. Or we’d be flopping all over the place with no stability.
Inside the face of each facet joint is a low friction pad made from moist cartilage. Each joint is then surrounded by a capsule full of its own supply of lubrication. Therefore, keeping those cartilage pads moist. Also, nerve fibers sit in the capsule, informing the brain of any problems. And therefore, typically feeling this signal as pain. Since these joints are almost in constant motion, they can experience a lot of abuse. And may become worn-out. This degradation of the pads and bone can lead to bone spurs, facet joint enlargement, and inflammation, known as facet joint disease.