Cervical facet joint pain
Vertebrae are the bones of the spine. Each of these vertebrae are connected together by two joints we call facet joints. These facet joint are at the back of the neck and allow for spinal motion and stability. In some cases of neck pain, it is the facet joints that become painful. There can be a variety of reasons these joints become painful but in most cases it is because the intervertebral discs have become degenerated and are no longer taking most of the weight of the head. Facet joint are not meant to support too much weight, this is the role of the discs (shock absorbers). Once the disc wears out the facet joints are loaded and become inflamed and irritated. This whole process is called cervical facet joint pain syndrome.
Symptoms of cervical facet joint pain
Facet joint pain typically comes on slowly and gets worse over time. Neck pain is usually located at the back of the neck and is made worse by extending and rotating (looking over shoulder). This causes the joints to compress. And rub together. An easy way to do this is to look over the back of your shoulder. There is no neurological symptoms however tenderness of the muscles is very common and pain can radiate out over one or both sides of the neck.
Treatment of cervical facet joint pain
Treatment of cervical facet joint pain is typically effective with a combination of chiropractic and physiotherapy. At Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) we specialise in the non-surgical treatment of neck pain. Our chiropractors and physiotherapists use treatments that have been shown to work in the research. Our chiropractors and physiotherapists also have a large focus on joint treatments, muscle treatments and strengthening exercises. When it comes to the treatment of cervical facet syndrome each patient needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis and individual’s treatment approaches are usually necessary to achieve the quickest and most effective results. Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) is located in Balmain and Dee Why, Sydney.