Facet joint irritation

The facet joint is a small synovial joint that helps support the spine. The orientation of the facet joint varies from the lumbar spine (lower back) to the thoracic (chest) and cervical (neck) spine. In the lower back to joints are aligned to restrict rotation but allow a degree of forward bending. When bending and rotation are performed together then the mechanical strain of the facet joint is increased. This can cause irritation and subsequent inflammation. The person is then likely to feel pain.

The exercises need to be performed gently and progression is slow. As your mobility improves it is important that your stability also gains strength. Awareness of posture and spinal position is essential to prevent a re-occurrence of tissue irritation.

If the irritation is severe then facet joint injections can be considered.