Facet joints are the joints that connect vertebrae to each other. Facet disease occurs when these joints begin to degenerate. While it can affect any level of the spine, facet disease most commonly affects the lumbar region, or the lower spine.

Other terms commonly used to describe facet disease include:

Facet Joint Arthritis

Facet Joint Syndrome

Facet Hypertrophy

Degenerative Facet Joints

lower back pain

Facet disease is the most common source of lower back problems. It can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • General wear and tear
  • Weakened immune system
  • Traumatic bone fractures
  • Obesity
  • Improper lifting
  • Poor posture
  • Spondylolisthesis

Symptoms of facet disease are very similar to those of other spinal disorders, like a herniated disc or a stress fracture. The symptoms that lead to facet disease are typically tenderness or stiffness in the joints, lower back pain, a decrease in flexibility, and muscle weakness.

Conservative treatments that many patients turn to when they are suffering from symptoms of facet disease include:

  • Non-prescription medications
  • Rest
  • Back brace
  • Diagnostic facet injections
  • Yoga or stretching
  • Strength training
  • Water therapy
  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Posture correction
  • Activity modifications
aquatic therapy

Some patients who are experiencing severe symptoms of facet disease may require more than conservative treatment to regain function. However, there are other options available for pain relief besides highly invasive surgery.

For some, adult stem cell therapy may be an option.