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iSpine Discuss Facet Joint Pain-lumbar in the Main forums forums; Could someone please tell me what facet pain feels like? I need to know if lumbar facet pain causes a ...

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Old 10-06-2014, 02:26 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northern California
Posts: 16
Default Facet Joint Pain-lumbar

Could someone please tell me what facet pain feels like? I need to know if lumbar facet pain causes a deep achy bone pain or does it cause a nerve pain. Everything on the web is vague.

Also, after several months of research, I think I've finally figured out that when general literature says "low back pain" they are referring to achy bone pain and when they mean nerve pain they say "nerve pain," or "radicular nerve pain." I am correct here? Please let me know.

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Old 10-06-2014, 05:52 PM
vnf vnf is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 43
Default facet pain

That's hard to describe because in 2005, I only had disc degeneration and had no facet degeneration.
The disc "pain" started with aching, then the gluts started to hurt, the nerves started to hurt (like sciatic pain) and it eventually got to the point where walking, sitting and generally breathing hurt.

Now, in 2014...my pain is similar. But, I have that adr that must come out too.
My facet has degenerated now. All of the pain feels sorta the same way.
Started to ache deep inside. Then the gluts started, the nerves started, etc.

It's hard to describe because the body seems to show the symptoms the same way, or at least for me it has. It starts off mild and then as time goes on, everything seems to get worse. Usually, this is why they try a facet block to see if the pain is coming from the facet.

Dr. Zeeger's just posted a really good article about this topic on his Facebook page. Again, I recommend joining his page just for the education he shares.

It's on Facebook and shared with the public:

Zygoapophysal joints (facet joints) are the result of chronic degenerative disc disease, but facethypertophy itself is not causing degenerative disc disease.
Most people suffer from an aching neck or back at some point in their lives. When pain and stiffness occur gradually and chronically, degenerative disc disease (DDD) may be the cause, which spine disorder is common with aging. It involves two processes: degenerative disc disease. The disc itself is not flexibel anymore or even instable, which could lead to a breakdown of the cartilage in the facet joints, which link together the spine’s vertebrae, while spine tries to stabalize with abnormal bony growths, called osteophytes or bone spurs on the vertebrae. If this natural process is not sufficient to stabelizing the spinal bodies, secondary degenerative process can lead to pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. The facet hypertrophy process usually occurs slowly, over a number of years, and may develop in tandem with other degenerative issues in the spine, such as and/or spinal stenosis. This chronic disorder could damage the cartilage and tissues surrounding a facet joint. It is sometimes called “degenerative joint disease” or “wear and tear” arthritis. As the disease progresses, new growths of bone or cartilage can enlarge the joints and cause significant pain and loss of mobility. Early treatment is important in limiting the progression of the disease. In late stage disease, surgery for arthritis may also be an option to relief spine symptoms from spinal canal stenosis and/or nerve root entrapment. Pain is the primary symptom of degenerative disc disease with facet hypertrophy, although it may be experienced in any combination of the following ways, like back or neck pain that comes and goes, possibly with a chronic low level of pain punctuated by intermittent flare-ups of more intense pain. Pain with certain activities, such as arching, twisting, or heavy lifting. Referred pain, such as headaches caused by osteoarthritis in the neck or leg pain caused by osteoarthritis in the lower back. Repair of the disc with Stand Alone Anterior Interbody fusion (STALIF) or anterior retroperitoneal artificial disc replacement could be indicated. In the case of severe spinal canal narrowing a dorsal spinal canal decompression, with or without anterior repair could relief the pain.

If you go to these pictures on his FB page, they blow up bigger and you can see the progression better.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Facet jpg.jpg (72.5 KB, 5 views)

Last edited by vnf; 10-06-2014 at 05:58 PM. Reason: editing
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:33 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northern California
Posts: 16

Thank you Vicki for all this info. I am private messaging you.
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