What Everybody Needs to Know About Facet Joint Syndrome

In the case of facet joint syndrome, you may be a victim of chronic/ acute pain and inflammation in the joints linking to your vertebrae. For painful facet joints, consult an expert surgeon at the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine. The practice offers non-invasive treatment and surgical treatment for severe facet joint syndrome in Shrewsbury, NJ, Toms River, NJ, and Edison, NJ. This piece offers more information about facet joint syndrome and treatment options.

What is Facet Joint Syndrome

You have thirty-three vertebrae along the spine, with two facet joints sandwiched by each pair of vertebrae lying on either side. Facet joints deliver spinal stability and flexibility to ensure that you can move fast and effectively when going about your daily chores. Facet joint syndrome refers to the condition affecting the joints linking your vertebrae.

Facet joints have a cartilage layer that reduces friction between the bones as you move. The membrane (synovium) produces synovial fluid for the effective lubrication of your joint(s). Irritation and inflammation of facet joints cause pain and unpleasant symptoms following the compression of nerves serving the facet joints to cause facet joint syndrome.

Causes of Facet Joint Syndrome

Your unpleasant symptoms may be resulting from;

  •       Degenerative spondylolisthesis
  •       Infection
  •       Synovial facet joint cysts
  •       Osteoarthritis
  •       Degenerative disc disease
  •       Effects of poor posture, repetitive trauma, and aging

Symptoms of Facet Joint Syndrome

Symptoms of facet joint syndrome may differ based on location and affected facet joints. Common symptoms include;

  • Lower back/ Lumbar spine. Facet joint syndrome in the lumbar spine may cause lower back pain spreading into your legs and buttocks. Without appropriate care, the condition limits your mobility and general productivity.
  • Neck/ Cervical Spine. In case of facet joint pain in your cervical spine, you may report neck pain radiating into your arms and shoulders. If left unchecked, you may have frequent headaches limiting you from turning your head by a wide angle.

At the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine, LLC, diagnosis of facet joint syndrome commences with a review of your symptoms, medical history, and a thorough physical exam to pinpoint specifics of your symptoms and their severity.

Your specialist looks for limited spine movements in your spine, tests reflexes, and muscle strength to pinpoint the extent of nerve damage. Further tests are administered through CAT scans, CT scans, x-ray, MRI scans, and facet joint blocks.

Treatment for Facet Joint Syndrome

The Center for The Functional Restoration of The Spine, LLC, offers advanced treatment for facet joint syndrome to address pain and inflammation. Your treatment may comprise;

ü  Steroids

ü  Activity modification

ü  Posture correction

ü  Muscle relaxants

ü  Prescription pain relief

ü  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

ü  Exercise and physical therapy

ü  Facet joint block local anesthetic injection

If the treatment conditions highlighted above are insufficient, your specialist may recommend surgery. Advanced options may include spinal fusion to limit movement of facet joints, laminectomy to enlarge your spinal canal, or rhizotomy to obliterate the nerves in facet joints.

Other Services Offered at CFRS

Minimally invasive spine surgery


Spinal stenosis

Back pain

Revision spine surgery

Robotic spine surgery

Compression fracture

Degenerative disc


Herniated disc


Spinal stenosis

Spinal tumors

Neck pain


In case of facet joint syndrome symptoms, contact the nearest specialist for immediate medical assistance. The Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine offers fully personalized treatment options addressing individual differences and symptoms.