Injury to the facet joints is essentially a sprain caused by an excessive movement which damages the joint capsule, resulting in swelling, inflammation and pain. The vicious cycle continues, with the pain then causing a protective mechanism to occur. This is when the muscles go into spasm to protect the spine and suddenly you have severe pain and cannot move comfortably.
There are many ways to injure the facet joints, however, many are the result of recurrent micro-traumas, small repeated injuries which build up until the slightest movement, such as simply reaching for a tissue, can be ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ as they say.
The immediate treatment is rest, hence avoiding the movements that cause the joints to be painful. However, it is best not to prolong the resting phase but to slowly get the joints moving again and when a diagnosis is confirmed the chiropractor can treat you accordingly. To help you back on your feet and at optimal wellness, both chiropractic and occupational therapies are a non-invasive, safe and effective, drug-free way to relieve back pain and treat your painful facet syndrome.