Many spinal experts actually consider the facet joints to be the most common source of spinal pain and discomfort.
Each vertebrae possesses 2 sets of facet joints - one set for articulating to the vertebrae above and one set for the articulation to the vertebrae below. In association with the spinal discs, the facet joints allow for movement between the individual vertebrae of the spine.
The facet joints are under a constant load from the weight of the body and are involved in guiding general motion and preventing extreme motions in the trunk. Repetitive or excessive trunkal motions, especially in rotation or extension, can irritate and injury facet joints or their encasing fibers. Also, abnormal spinal biomechanics - similar to a wheel out of alignment - and bad postural habits can significantly increase spinal stresses and thus greatly accelerate the wear and tear on the facet joints.
Chiropractic doctors identify and treat facet joint abnormalities and stresses along with other spinal abnormalities to keep backs and bodies healthy and free from pain.
However, in certain circumstances, where conservative chiropractic management of facet joint involvement has not been successful, a referral for invasive medical management may be necessary.