Facet Joints

Facet Joints

Spinal facet joints are like other joints in your body.  Each joint is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue and synovial fluid that nourishes and lubricates the joint.  Cartilage coats the joint’s surfaces helping each joint to smoothly move (articulate).

Medial branch nerves carry pain away from the facet joint.

Two facet joints are located at the back (posterior) of each vertebral body.  Facet joints join two vertebrae creating a motion segment.  Intervertebral disc height and spinal ligaments help keep the joint stable, aid motion and prevent excessive forward (hyperflexion) and backward (hyperextension) motion.  Whiplash is a common type of hyperflexion/hyperextension injury.