Lumbar Facet Syndrome

What is a lumbar facet syndrome?

Lumbar facet syndrome is when the facet joints, located at the back of the vertebra, become inflamed. This can lead to a series of issues such has localised low back pain and leg pain too. However, unlike typical sciatica and disc herniations, the leg pain that comes with facet syndrome is located only at the back of the thigh and ends around the knee.

What attributes to Lumbar Facet Syndrome?

Multiple factors can bring lead to Lumbar Facet Syndrome, including:

  • Repetitive extension of the low back.
  • Traumatic Incidents
  • Poor posture
  • Aging
  • Other spinal injuries such as degeneration and spondylolisthesis

Why does structural chiropractic work so well for lumbar facet syndrome?

Structural chiropractic works great for lumbar facet syndrome because it looks at the root of the problem. If we look at the reasons listed above, all the issues stem from locking of the spinal joints thus leading to improper movement. Structural chiropractors are trained to find where all these issues are and unlock the joint so the joints can function correctly thus leading to spinal strengthening from the inside.

So how does this all happen?

When your joints (any joint) are misaligned, they cannot move correctly. When a joint does not move correctly, the stabilising muscles that support that joint become lazy and weak and the nerve connection to those muscles diminish as it’s not getting used much.

It’s use it or lose it for the body, brain and nerve connections and Just like having a cast on your arm or leg, without moving the joints for just 1-2 months you will see a huge reduction of muscle tone and strength and nerve connectivity.

More specific to the spine, without proper movement of the joints and strength of the muscles and ligaments of the spine, the spinal curves lose their most functional shape and instead of acting like springs to distribute everyday forces, all the forces go onto the bones and discs of the spine and cause degeneration, damage/injury and other dysfunctions to occur. 

The deep stabilising muscles and their strength and activity are important as when they are not supporting a joint properly a whole host of problems can arise. 

These muscles keep the joints in their proper position… so when they are weak:

  1. The joint is not getting any support.
  2. It’s not in it’s optimal position.
  3. Keeps locking up and lacks proper movement.
  4. The muscles keep getting weaker.
  5. The cycle keeps getting worse over time.
  6. Creates damage inside the bones, joints, discs and nerves

This weakness and instability within the deep stabilising muscles also creates tightness and stiffness in and around the bigger muscles around the body such as the neck (causing tension headaches), chest, shoulders, lower back, buttock and even arms and legs, creating a whole chain of improper movement and stress through the body.