February 2022 Newsletter


There are three joints at every level of the spine: the disc joint and two facet joints. The disc joint is in the front of the spinal column and receives a lot of press as almost everyone knows about degenerative disc disease which happens in all of us as we get older. The disc joint is primarily a shock absorber. Few people have even heard of the facet joints. They are in the back of the spinal column and facilitate normal spinal movement including flexing, extending, twisting and bending. They also prevent abnormal spinal motion such as sliding (translational motion). Facet joints are synovial joints (they have cartilage, a capsule and, synovial fluid) much like a knee joint or an ankle joint. And like these joints, they can degenerate as well. Facet degeneration can cause back pain, spinal instability, and compression of spinal nerves.

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