Facet Joint Arthropathy

Facet Joint Arthropathy

Stiffness in the back is one of the most common symptoms of facet joint arthropathy. However, symptoms depend largely on the location of the inflamed joint and what nerves it affects. Some of the common symptoms of facet joint arthropathy include:

  • Dull pain in the cervical or lumbar regions
  • Pain that radiates to the buttocks and legs
  • Pain and stiffness that makes it difficult to stand straight
  • A hunched posture, especially while walking
  • Tenderness at the area of the affected joint

What Causes Facet Joint Arthropathy?

Aging is a key factor in the occurrence of facet joint arthropathy as conditions such as arthritis can affect the cartilage and bones of these joints and cause inflammation. Other causes of facet joint arthropathy include:

  • Pressure overload on the facet joints
  • Injury, as in the case of an automobile accident
  • Bone spurs that protrude and press against adjacent nerves
  • Infections such as tuberculosis
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Conditions such as osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease

Curvature of the spine caused by conditions such as scoliosis or kyphosis


  • Physical injury
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological stress
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Illness, especially viral infections

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