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Facet Joint Pain

caitycccaityc Posts: 268
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
For those of you who have facet joint issues.... Is your pain "bone" pain? It's hard to describe... Like you can just feel it's your back bones that hurt? Like all across from hip to hip?

I never knew I had a facet joint issue. I have a great pain management doc, and today he explained that my facet joints have problems (don't remember his specific words), and that's the reason why, when I laid on his table on my stomach for my epidural last week, my back was killing me. Or why when I lay on my side, it hurts my entire back from hip to hip. Or why when I lift anything the least bit heavy, it's "bone" pain.

I hope this makes sense. :)

If you can let me know what your pain feels like that would be great!

>:D< >:D<



  • I also have problems if I lay flat on my stomach without a pillow under my stomach and one under my legs. I have a hard time even sitting up afterwards. It's like my back locks up on me from hip to hip and it's the worst pain ever. I also have issues if I try to bend backwards. It's an excrutiating pain that I also have a hard time describing.
  • To me, I envisage that I have been shot and the pain is from the damage. It is like a knife that cuts threw bone and has my upper spine separated from my lower. Like the lady sawed in half, except I am a guy and certainly not as pretty! LOL.

    My facets ache like the devil at times. Rest and movement are to only way for me to heal them. I can't stop and I cannot keep going for long. Does that make sense?

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I don't know if it's facet joint problems that cause my pain but I know how you feel. Do you ever accidently turn on your stomach during sleep and wake up in excruciating pain? It feels like if you move it's going to kill you but if you don't it will kill you. Does this sound familiar? I thankfully don't have this every night. I think I'd sleep in the recliner if I did.

  • You might like to read the following article so you have more information about the facet joints, their purpose in the body and what can go wrong:

  • I have significant facet pain but its localized to an area about 4-5 inches across and 2 inches high, it can be stabbing (esp. if I bend or move wrong), or just horrible pressure like my bones are in a vise. The hip-to-hip pain sound more like sacro-iliac joint or maybe even psoas muscle problems. Facet blocks work great for facet pain, and sometimes rhizotomy gives hope in pain relief that last months to even a year!
  • for me i have pain in so many places i dont know where it comes from. i do have severe facet problems. i believe the pain in the back of my legs comes from the facets. when i first get up that pain is severe. several hours later its bearable. you wish there was a test that could plot a map of the nerves so you could accurately say exactly what was generating the pain....pete
  • is burning pain, with sharp pain and pain like I'm getting stabbed with an ice pik, all across my lower back. That is when I have aggravated it and it's inflamed. Fun stuff! Not! :)

    Thank you for all of your replies! :)


  • That happens to me too. You can't move without it feeling like your breaking your back. :(
  • Like Pete said, there's so much going on at the same time that it's hard to tell which pain is which. But I can't lay on my stomach either without a pillow underneath and it hurts when they make me bend backwards on an exam. I had no idea about my facet arthritis until my surgeon cleaned up a bunch of debris from it during surgery. See, MRI's do miss a few things. All I know is that my back always hurts with or without movement and it gets worse with weather changes.
  • I know all to well exactly how you guys are feeling. It's so hard to describe but I know exactly what you mean.

    Today I thought of this thread while I was taking a shower....don't worry, it was nothing perverted lol. I have to sit down to shave my legs and I let the warm water run on my lower back while I am doing this. Today I got stuck in this position like I usually do. I have to use my upper body strength to get myself back up cuz my hips, facet and legs all hurt too much to do it on my own.
  • I also cannot pinpoint what is the cause of pain any more, not that I ever knew what the source was/is. But every time I turn over in bed I wake up from pain. It doesn't matter how medicated I am either. I cannot sleep on my left side and can only handle lying on my right side for so long. That leaves my back and I think I snore like there's not enough wood on the planet. I told my wife to elbow me a good one if I'm snoring so I will end this post by saying that officially my pain feels like an elbow right in my side! :)
  • I have facet joint arthropy(arthritis) and had some relief with facet joint injections but they offered no Rhizotomy at that pain clinic which may help long term as opposed to so many injections. Standing up with hands on hips and leaning slightly back was a sign the facets were inflammed around the herniated disc like your body swelling up to protect the disc herniation and your spinal cord. It's like my whole body triggered arthritis everywhere in my feet, neck and knees and back all at once. It feels like a knife for sure. Be careful getting up out of bed. Using the logroll and the arm underneath you to slowly pull yourself up can help. I hope your can get your injections soon to help. Like usual I swear by my infrared platinum heating pad to offer temporary relief while sitting. I hope you have less pain soon. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • At least you give your wife permission to hit you if you snore. I have to be "gentle" when my husband is shaking the house down. X( :) Thank goodness it isn't too often.

    I just am trying so hard to pin point what my pain is. I know it really doesn't matter, it is what it is. But like I said originally, I didn't even know my facet joints had issues. My doc told me it explains the pain though, so I'll believe him. :)

    I too hurt when I move in bed. It feels like my hips/back are in a vice. Fortunately though my meds do help. If I don't take them daily, I am in a world of hurt. :''(

    Ming, I know exactly what you mean. I rarely shave my legs, and have my husband do it when they really need to be done. It just hurts! So I'm a little chubaka for a while. :D

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