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Lumbar Facet Syndrome

Woman holding lower backYour spine is formed by bones called vertebrae, which are connected by intervertebral discs and joints called facet joints. The facet joints are involved in guiding, as well as limiting motion of your spine during regular movements.

Facet syndromes can occur in all regions of your spine. Lumbar facet syndrome refers to those that involve the joints in the lower part of your spine โ€” the lumbar spine region. Repetitive trauma or a sprain, as well as the presence of degenerative changes in the low back, can all contribute to the pain produced from the facet joints.

An Acute or Chronic Condition

A client presenting with a lumbar facet syndrome often has a history of lower back pain which is made worse when they try to lean backwards or sometimes even stand straight. Often bending forward towards their toes eases the pain. Lumbar facet syndromes can either be chronic (meaning they have been present for a long time โ€“ often achy in nature) or acute (recent occurrence โ€“ often quite a sharp pain).

Offering a Suite of Therapies

Facet syndromes respond extremely well to spinal manipulation or mobilisation. Both manipulation and mobilisation of the lumbar spine can help the movement of the joint involved, as well as easing any muscle spasm through a reflex response. Other techniques that may form part of your treatment at Central City Chiropractic include soft tissue treatment including ischemic compression, massage and dry needling.

Your chiropractor may also advise you on some exercises to do at home in order to increase the benefit you are receiving from any treatment. An X-ray is rarely needed for a facet joint problem but on rare occasions, one may be helpful to exclude other pathologies and see the amount of degeneration present.

Want to Learn More?

If you think you might have lumbar facet syndrome, we want to help you get relief. Schedule an appointment today at our Perth CBD practice!


1. Carnes M and N Vizniak 2009. Quick Reference Evidence-Based Conditions Manual. Canada Professional Health Systems Inc.

Lumbar Facet Syndrome | Central City Chiropractic | (08) 9221 4527