facet

Do you have lower back pain when bending backwards?

If so than the pain has a high probability from coming from the facet joints in your spine! Facet joints are the joints that connect each of your spinal vertebrae together behind your intervertebral disks. Each spinal segment has two facet joints, one on each side and they assist the movement of bending forward and backward while limiting rotation and prevent the vertebrae from slipping over each other.

However, when the joint degenerate due to incorrect posture or trauma, it can turn into a source of pain, which is known as facet syndrome. Facet joints are located throughout your spine from your cervical spine (neck) to your lumbar spine (low back) and they are all susceptible to facet syndrome, with lumbar facet joint being the most commonly affected facet joint as lumbar spine bears the most weight and strain.

Symptoms of Joint problems in the spine

Depends on the region of facet joints affected, you may experience pain at different region of your body and the pain may radiate to other parts of your body far away from the affected facet joint.

Cervical (neck) facet syndrome may include the following symptoms:

  • One-sided neck pain
  • Pain felt in upper arm, shoulder or upper back and can be trace back to the neck
  • Neck pain with limitation of extension (bend backward) and rotation
  • Tender when palpated over the neck
  • May causes headache if severe

Thoracic (mid-back) facet joint syndrome:

  • Mid-back pain
  • Restricted trunk motion, may need to turn the entire body to look over to the left or right
  • Pain when taking in a deep breath

Lumbar (low back) facet syndrome may include the following symptoms:

  • Pain and stiffness while trying stand straight or getting up a chair
  • Pain radiates down to the back and sides of the thigh and buttock, but usually does not go below the knee
  • Low back pain and tenderness
  • Pain when hyperextending your back
  • Walking with hunched back

Causes of joint problems

dr schillerDifferent regions of the spine have different causes to develop facet syndrome. For neck and upper back, trauma such as whiplash from a car accident is a more common cause for facet syndrome to develop in those regions.

For lumbar spine, chronic overloading would be the leading cause of developing facet syndrome. As we age, our intervertebral discs can dehydrate, result in loss of disc height, which in turn put more stress on the facet joints in the back that stabilise the joint. This change of biomechanics will lead to degeneration of the facet joints themselves and develop facet syndrome. This is the reason why lumbar facet syndrome almost always coexists with other spinal degeneration conditions as they are all linked together.

Treatment of lower back pain

Conservative, non-surgical approach is usually the first-line therapy to treat your back pain. Your doctor would usually develop a treatment plan that combine different forms of conservative treatments to maximise the treatment benefits. Some of the common conservative treatments are:

  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Core strengthening exercises
  • Low back stretching programme
  • Massage therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Flexion Distraction

Conservative treatments can work wonders for most patients to control, manage and reduce the pain.

We are here to find solutions!

dr schillerAt Lakeside Chiropractic, our experienced chiropractors are well prepared to deal with patient presenting with lower back pain. We provide massage therapy, manual adjustment, cold laser therapy and more that may help reduce your pain and manage your condition. Lakeside chiropractic is located in Joondalup in Perth’s north and has visitors from many different suburbs including, Padbury, Kinross, Mindarie, Sorrento, Iluka, Carramar, Currambine, Tapping, Pearsall, Hocking and Woodvale. HICAPS Facilities available on site for major private health insurers (NIB, HCF, HBF, AHM, HCI and HIF) and also a part of the Medibank preferred practitioner and BUPA Members first network. If you would like to discuss any concerns, have any enquiries or wish to book an appointment; feel free to contact one of our friendly staff on 9300 0095 or visit our website at www.lakesidechiro.com.au.

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