Facet joints are small joints at each segment of the spine that provide stability and help guide the motion of the vertebra.  These joints have cartilage (cushioning tissue between the bones) and a surrounding capsule that is filled with synovial fluid – reducing the friction between bones that could rub together. The facet joints are similar to hinges – allowing the vertebrae to meet; bend and move, providing flexibility to the spine.

Lumbar facet joints are subjected to wear and tear of the cartilage, bone and synovial fluid. With time, the joints will gradually deteriorate, leading to lumbar facet syndrome and pain.  Disfunction of the joint can lead to irritation or compression of nearby nerve root or the spinal cord.

Causes of Facet Joint Syndrome:

  • Daily activities causing damage to the facet joint.
  • Sports – running, jumping, kicking.
  • Poor posture.
  • Disc degeneration.
  • Anterior pelvic tilt.
  • Obesity.
  • Arthritis that affects the facet joints within the lumbar spine (lower back).
  • Age: common in individuals above 50.

Symptoms of Facet Joint Syndrome:

  • Pain felt in the lower back, hip, buttock, and/or leg.
  • Pain that is dull ache, tenderness, radiating pain, tingling,
  • Pain bending and twisting.
  • Stiffness in the back.
  • Problems getting out of a chair or difficulty standing up.
  • Pain worse with sitting all day.
  • Pain worse in the morning but improves as the day progresses.

I approach treating your low back pain to your presentation, which involves:

  • Analyzing your posture – how is your spine and pelvis aligned?
  • Discussing potential lifestyle dynamics impacting the joint.
  • Understanding how other factors such as arthritis can aggravate the problem.
  • Muscle testing the muscles comprising the hip for weakness and pain.
  • Targeting effected muscles, releasing motor points, trigger points and relaxing the fascia
  • Providing exercises to continue treatment success between acupuncture treatments

Call (914) 572-5137 today or click here to schedule an appointment & learn more about how we can help you.