Facet Joint Syndrome is classified as the deterioration of the facet joints which are responsible for stabilizing the spine and limiting motions. Facet joints are lined with cartilage and contain a lubricating capsule that allows the vertebrae to move.
Over time damage can occur to facet joints. This damage can be caused by normal use, back or neck injury, or because of degeneration of discs.
Eventually the cartilage that covers a damaged facet joint will wear away causing the join to swell and become hard. The bones will rub against each other which may cause bone spurs to form.
Facet Joint Syndrome pain will be different for each part of the spine. If the upper spine is damaged neck, shoulder and upper back pain can be felt. Headaches may also occur if the upper spine is damaged. If the lower spine is damaged lower back, buttocks, and back of thighs may hurt.
Facet Joint Syndrome is treated non-invasively at first. Rest, ice, heat, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy may be used. Facet joint injections could be used to help diagnosis pain in addition to treatment. If non-invasive methods do not work to reduce or control pain, surgical procedures may be used.