What Is Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome?

Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome is a condition that often warrants a visit to a pain management expert. The highly skilled physicians at St. Louis Pain Consultants treat conditions like lumbar facet joint syndrome so you can regain functionality and improve your quality of life.

Lumbar facet joint syndrome refers to a dysfunction at the facet joints (which are part of the vertebrae), causing pain along the lumbar spine. The condition is often characterized by an ache combined with stiffness.

Symptoms of Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome

Lumbar facet joint syndrome symptoms are similar to osteoarthritis of the spine and other lower back problems. Pain, tenderness, and stiffness are typical.

Pain and Irritation

Localized Pain – Pain experienced within the lower back region.

Referred Pain – Pain extends to the hips, buttocks, and thighs. A general discomfort within the pelvic area or abdomen can count as referred pain. Referred pain is dull and often signals the onset of facet arthritis, which can have severe effects if left untreated.

Radiating Pain – Pain which is sharp and severe, radiating through the leg from the thigh to the foot. The affected leg also experiences overall fatigue and muscle weakness. This often occurs due to compression on the facet joint that traps a spinal nerve.


Pain in the lower back can develop over time, causing more discomfort. General tenderness is noted when applying gentle pressure to the area. 


Pain in the lumbar facets resulting from arthritic conditions can cause stiffness. This produces discomfort with movement and stretching.

Grinding Feeling on Facets

Dysfunction in the lumbar facet joints often leads to arthritic changes. Arthritis might affect the integrity of the spine joint cartilage, causing crepitus, a grinding sound or sensation on the facets from movement.

Reduced Range of Motion

Lumbar facet joint syndrome’s pain is often worse after long periods of inactivity, especially in the morning. The pain affects your normal range of movement, causing a significant reduction in activity.

Due to the reduced range of motion, performing heavy exercises or stretching gets quite uncomfortable. Prolonged periods of sitting, such as desk jobs, can worsen the pain and affect your ability to maintain correct posture.

Treating Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome

The symptoms of lumbar facet joint syndrome are similar to other spine conditions. Doctors conduct a series of clinical examinations and imaging before administering treatment. After diagnosis, St. Louis Pain Consultants offer the following treatment options:

  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Spinal Cord Stimulator
  • Radiofrequency Ablation

Visit a Pain Management Physician Today

Pain in the spine is uncomfortable and limiting because it gets in the way of everyday activities. A visit to the pain management Dr. helps relieve your pain.

St. Louis Pain Consultants is your trusted pain management expert in the Bi-State area with offices in Chesterfield, Missouri and Maryville, Illinois. We specialize in treating chronic pain to help you become whole again in no time. Contact us today to get started.

If you are living with chronic pain, seek help from St. Louis Pain Consultants.

We want to help remind you what life without pain feels like.

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