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The Cervical Facet Syndrome

Also called radiculitis or cervical spinal funiculitis, cervical facet syndrome is a condition that affects the joints in your neck. Cervical facet joints are the joints between the vertebrae in your neck. 

These joints allow your neck to move from side to side and up and down and allow the bones of the spine to move smoothly against each other.

Cervical facet syndrome occurs when these joints become irritated or inflamed. It is often caused by repetitive motion or injury, such as arthritis or wear and tear on the cartilage that protects the joints, but it can also occur due to degenerative changes in the joints. 

After a prolonged or sudden stretching, the capsule may stretch and create an inflammation that will very quickly invade the space reserved for the nerves at the exit of the vertebrae. 

It can also cause headaches, pain in the arms and numbness or tingling in the fingers. 

Treatment for cervical facet syndrome usually consists of a combination of rest, ice and physical therapy. In some cases, corticosteroid injections or surgery may be necessary.

The Causes

Cervical Facet Syndrome

The pain arises from irritation and local inflammation of one or more facet joints. Thus, the nerve can be involved when it exits and create pain that radiates. In addition, a spinal disc injury may also be present.

Facet syndrome is caused by an injury to the cartilage of the facet joint, also resulting from excessive movement, particularly in rotation and extension.

This irritation can be caused by different types of incidents:

  • False moves
  • Quick lifting of a load
  • Fall or trauma
  • Prolonged poor posture
  • Repetitive work or activity under adverse conditions
  • Increased lumbar lordosis e.g. pregnant women, obese people
  • Facet arthritis

Facet syndrome
is a common problem !

The treatment

Cervical Facet Syndrome

Prognosis in case of lumbar sprain

By the way, with the help of manipulations and favorable conditions, one can see a noticeable improvement in 14 days and remission in 4-5 weeks. On the other hand, if one waits several weeks before the start of the treatment, the recovery may be longer, also, the patient may have sequelae (slight persistent pain, recurrence, weakness in the neck, etc.).

Put on ice (20 minutes / 2 hours), rest as well as complementary therapies such as neurocryotherapy and kinésio taping are always needed to reduce inflammation and severe pain.
Spinal manipulations Anti-inflammatories, pain relievers and muscle relaxants as needed. Lumbar support for a short period as needed
Stretch the associated musculature.
Avoid activities that increase pain (hyperextension and rotation).
Take anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and pain relievers as needed.
Taking facet injections may provide some relief but do not solve the basic problem with the joint.
Take anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and pain relievers as needed.
Surgery, which involves fusing two or more vertebrae, is rarely necessary.


If you experience these symptoms see your chiropractor.


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