Depending on the number of facets affected, the severity of the condition, and the possible involvement of a nearby nerve root, one or more of the following signs and symptoms may occur:

  • Localized pain
  • A dull ache is typically present in the lower back.
  • Referred pain. 
  • The pain may be referred to the buttocks, hips, thighs, or knees, rarely extending below the knee.
  • Radiating pain.
  • If a spinal nerve is irritated or compressed at the facet joint (such as from a facet bone spur), a sharp, shooting pain (sciatica) may radiate into the buttock, thigh, leg, and/or foot.
  • Muscle weakness and fatigue
  • Tenderness on palpation.
  • Effect of posture and activity.
  • The pain is usually worse in the morning, after long periods of inactivity, after heavy exercise, and/or while rotating or bending the spine backward. Prolonged sitting, such as driving a car, may also worsen the pain..
    stiffness may be present in the joint, typically felt more in the mornings or after a period of long rest.
  • Crepitus
  • Arthritic changes in the facets may cause a feeling of grinding or grating in the joints upon movement. 

Physical therapy and core strengthening exercises can strengthen the spine and reduce the stress on the facet joints.

The initial treatment for acute facet joint pain is focused on:

  • Education
  • Pain relief
  • Relative rest

Bed rest beyond 2 days isn’t recommended as it can have undesirable effects on bones, connective tissues, muscles and the cardiovascular system.

  • Reducing lumbar lordosis
  • Therefore it is important to reduce excessive lumbar lordosis with exercise because excessive lordosis increases loading on the posterior aspect of the spine.
  • Exercise
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises to keep spine as strong and flexibility as possible.
  • Manual therapy
  • To reduce spasm and improve mobility.
  • Heat therapy
  • Postural advice to reduce any extra strain.
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Postural realignment
  • Ergonomic assessment and changes
  • Soft tissue manipulation
  • Core stability exercise
What is Facet Syndrome ?

Facet syndrome, also known as facet joint pain or facet joint syndrome, is a condition that occurs when the facet joints in the spine become inflamed or irritated. The facet joints are small joints located between each vertebra in the spine and are responsible for supporting the weight of the body and providing stability to the spine. When the facet joints become damaged or worn down, it can cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.


Facet syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Arthritis
  2. Injury or trauma to the spine
  3. Repetitive strain on the spine
  4. Poor posture
  5. Degenerative changes in the spine due to aging
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