Facet Joint Pain Treatment

Facet joints, which connect spinal vertebral bones and provide support, can be vulnerable to traumatic injury and degeneration. Injuries and conditions associated with facet joint pain are classed as Facet Joint Syndrome.


At Vitalis Physiotherapy, specialised treatment aims to:

What is facet joint pain?

Facet joints are responsible for neck and back movement and are found along the spinal column. There are three main locations of facet joints:

  • Cervical spine (neck)
  • Thoracic spine (mid-back)
  • Lumbar spine (lower back) – most susceptible to degenerative facet joint pain

Constant and repetitive movements can wear down the cartilage between lumbar facet joints and restrict movement, with pain stemming from this called facet joint syndrome. This joint pain can cause soreness and stiffness, increasing with prolonged periods of sitting, standing or strenuous activity.

Usually, cervical and thoracic facet joint pain is caused by traumatic injury to the neck or back. Cervical facet injury examples include whiplash injuries or falls. Thoracic facet injuries commonly stem from pushing, pulling or lifting heavy loads where the force strains the back. Sudden impact or over-extension of the lower back joints can result in Lumbar facet joint pain, which could later develop into chronic lower back pain.

Facet joint pain can be localised to the specific joint location, and can also be felt in the hips, legs, buttocks and groin.

Question mark

What causes facet joint pain?

Causes of facet joint syndrome typically depends on the location of the joint. The pain can also vary depending on the location of the facet joint injury.

Lumbar joint syndrome

  • Commonly caused by degeneration due to aging – strain and misalignment lead to lower back pain.
  • Often accompanied by other spinal degenerative disorders, including osteoarthritis
  • Poor posture

Cervical and Thoracic joint syndrome

  • Usually occur due to trauma injuries, like motor vehicle accidents (whiplash), falls, neck injuries (wry neck) or sports injuries.
  • Repetitive minor injuries caused by manual labour, sports and activity
  • Poor posture

Symptoms of Facet Joint Syndrome

  • Reduced range of motion
  • Pain with movement
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the affected region
  • ‘Referred pain’ in other areas due to facet joint pain
  • Inflammation
Chronic Back Pain

Treatment for Facet Joint Syndrome

Physiotherapy treatment for facet joint syndromes is focused on core strengthening, postural changes and stretching to reduce symptoms and relapse. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our physios determine a unique treatment plan to set you on the path to recovery and restore movement. This can be achieved through:

Physiotherapy treatment is the most beneficial. Anti-inflammatory medication, rest and heat packs may help some of the symptoms.  In severe cases, a brace or support could also help.

How to book an appointment?

If you think that you may be suffering from facet joint irritation, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our team at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess and diagnose the condition. They will then tailor your treatment plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you suffering from facet joint syndrome? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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