Facet joint pain is one of the most common symptoms found among patients with back and neck problems. The pain symptoms are similar to the pain caused by damaged or herniated discs, and is therefore commonly misunderstood. Once at its peak, a facet joint pain may even cause sciatica due to foraminal stenosis.
It is common to find patients with facet joint pain having difficulty in leaning backward than they have in bending forward. The pain resulting from damaged facet joints might extend from lower back to the buttocks and reaching down to the upper leg [back side].
This condition is diagnosed with injection of the facet joint/s or the nerves carrying pain from the facet joint known as medial branch facet nerve. Longer lasting pain relief (6 to 12 months) can be achieved with Radiofrequency medial branch neurotomy procedure usually done by fellowship trained pain management physicians.