Facetogenic Pain

Facet joints are grouped in pairs at the back of each vertebra and guide movement. Their orientation will guide movement to specific areas of the spine. The lumbar spine is set up to bend and extend; the thoracic spine is designed to rotate.

Facetogenic pain is pain in your facet joints typically caused by degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis.

Degenerative disc disease is a result of wear, tear and aging. The intervertebral discs act as cushions between your vertebrae.

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it. There are five different grades for spondylolisthesis, depending on how far forward the vertebra has slipped.

When you have facetogenic pain, you should focus on doing gentle flexion and rotation exercises to relieve pressure on the facet joints and discs.

Avoid any positions that apply force to the facet joints such as bending too far backward. You should also limit excessive running, sitting, standing and lifting heavy weights. Try to frequently change positions in order to prevent increased pressure on the spine.

You’ll need to remember to incorporate effective body mechanics and postural awareness into your daily activities to protect your spine and decrease pressure on your facet joints.