Articles by Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD
and Mahendra Sanapati, MD

What is Facet Joint Pain?

Similar to wrists and knees, our spines also have joints called facets that cause pain in the neck, head, and back from arthritis or strain.

Facet joint pain is one of the most common pain symptoms with neck, mid back, and low back pain. These major structures in the spine, on each side of a vertebral body, allow us to bend forward, backward, and side to side. Facet joints can cause pain secondary to arthritis, degeneration, and also sprain and strain.

Facet joint pain can be diagnosed with diagnostic facet joint nerve blocks, performed by injecting a local anesthetic over the nerve supply of the joint.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment may be provided with therapeutic facet joint nerve blocks or radiofrequency neurotomy which is application of heat to the nerves.