Facet Joint Pain
The facet joints help support weight-bearing and control movement between vertebrae of the spine. There are two facet joints (one on each side) at each spinal segment. These joints may degenerate. Degenerative joint changes are common in the older population, but may occur in younger adults, particularly with prior trauma.
Pain originating in a facet joint is generally in the lower back, buttocks and thighs.
The initial treatment for facet joint pain is usually physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation and/or medication. If pain persists, rhizotomy, a procedure to deaden small nerves around the joint, may be done. In some persistent facet joint problems, surgery may be considered.