Facet Joint Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 10. July 2017 10:29

‘Facet Joints’ or Z-joints (zygapophyseal joints) are pairs of joints which connect the bones of the spine. They are located in the posterior aspect of the spine. Facet Joints allow the spine to bend and twist while limiting the extent to which the spine does so.

The roots of various spinal nerves pass from the spinal cord to arms, legs and other parts of the body through these joints. Like the knee-joint, they too contain cartilage, synovium, and synovial fluid which facilitate easy, frictionless movement of the spinal vertebrae against each other. Facet joint disorders are very common and can cause serious problems including severe physical disability.

Facet joints may swell because of physical injury or Arthritis resulting in a host of symptoms. These symptoms may vary depending on the location of the affected vertebral joint.


  • Spinal Arthritis
  • Injuries in sportsmen resulting from vigorous exertion
  • Direct injury to any part of the spinal column
  • The process of ageing may weaken the joint
  • Degeneration of the inter-vertebral discs may overload the facet joints and cause pain


  • Headaches
  • Difficulty in twisting and bending the spine
  • Pain in lower back, buttocks, and/or thighs
  • Numbness
  • The patient may have to turn the whole body to look right or left
  • Difficulty in straightening up the back
  • The symptoms may get aggravated while getting up from a sitting position
  • Muscular weakness
  • The symptoms generally occur in intermittent acute episodes with unpredictable frequency
  • Tilting backwards may be more painful than leaning forward
  • Loss of flexibility of the spinal muscles


  • A detailed physical examination may be conducted by an orthopedic doctor to check for existing symptoms and loss of motion
  • Injection of an anesthetic and anti-inflammatory substance resulting in immediate relief confirms Facet Joint Syndrome.
  • Abnormality or changes in the facet joint structure can be assessed through X-Ray imaging
  • Joint inflammation can be established through a bone scan
  • CT scan and MRI may be useful in some cases.

Non-surgical Options:

  • Physiotherapy may be recommended to alleviate the symptoms and improve flexibility and strength of the spine and surrounding muscles
  • The patient may be advised to maintain a good posture
  • A specific exercise called the Pelvic Tilt may be helpful
  • Heat therapy may relax the affected muscles
  • Application of ice packs at regular intervals may alleviate acute pain
  • Some lifestyle changes may be suggested by the doctor to mitigate the symptoms
  • Prescription of non-steroidal anti inflammatory medicines
  • Use of a neck collar for support
  • Cervical traction
  • Avoid placing the head on a stack of pillows

Surgical Options:

  • Arthrodesis: A surgical procedure that involves use of metal screws to hold two successive vertebrae.
  • Bone Graft may also be used around the affected joint.

OrthoTexas provides diagnosis and treatment of Facet Joint Syndrome and other orthopedic conditions that cause back pain. To schedule an appointment with spine surgeons in Carrollton, TX, you can call at (972) 492-1334.

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Back Pain Prevention: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 21. April 2015 11:38

Back pain can be caused a result of an injury, trauma or a degenerative orthopedic condition. However, in most cases, it is caused due to improper posture during activities such as walking, sitting, twisting, bending, working or lifting weights. However adopting a few lifestyle changes and practicing appropriate body mechanics can improve back pain.

Here are some important tips that can help to prevent back pain and keep your spine healthy as well as strong:

  • Exercise: Performing low impact aerobic exercises on a regular basis can strengthen the muscles and tissues in the back. It helps to keep your body in proper shape. If your daily life does not include sufficient physical activity, your muscles and joints will lose mobility and make you susceptible to back pain even while doing simple tasks. Try to include brisk walking, running or swimming in your routine.
  • Maintain Healthy Weight: The lower back bears a large part of your body weight. If you are overweight, you ae quite likely to experience pain in your back. Try to cut down on your body fat in order to avoid it.
  • Sleep Sideways: Sleeping on the back is one of common causes of back pain for most people. It is advisable that you sleep on your side to avoid the condition. While sleeping with the stomach down, always put a pillow under your abdomen to avoid putting pressure on your spine. Having a supportive mattress is also crucial to keep your back healthy.
  • Maintain Proper Posture: People with desk jobs sitting in front of computer screens for long hours are most likely to get back pain. Slouching in the chairs or shoulders hunched forwards causes damage to the normal curve of the spine. To avoid this, make sure you have an ergonomic workstation at the office. Take short breaks after every hour or practice mild stretching exercises while sitting
  • Quit Smoking: People often do not realize that smoking could also be a cause of back pain. Smoking constricts the blood vessels, thus, restricting the normal flow of blood and oxygen to the spine. This causes the back muscles to easily get injured and take more time to heal completely.

For treatment of back pain, visit OrthoTexas. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic doctors in Carrollton, TX, you can call at (972) 492-1334 or visit 4780 North Josey Lane, Carrollton, TX 75010.

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