Spondylarthrosis / Facet joint arthritis of the lower spine

Spondylarthrosis / Facet Joint Arthritis of the Lower Spine

"I have permanent dull back pain that increases over the course of the day.  Especially in the mornings, my spine feels stiff. When I bend backwards, the pain gets worse". Patients report such or similar statements when suffering from facette joint arthritis of the lower spine, medically known as spondylarthrosis (a morphological change in the bony structure of the vertebrae). These medical conditions can be quiet diverse. Unlike slipped discs, the pain does not radiate to the legs, but stays also in the groin.

The spine gets worn out through the regular aging process or excessive overloading. Especially, the facet joints which connect the adjacent vertebrae with each other, are constantly under strain for our entire lives. This change is called joint arthrosis (degenerative joint disease).

Degenerated joints tend to inflame and  cause pain. As the disease progresses,  the joints get thicker inducing arthrosis and back pain. Other consequences are a narrowing of the spinal canal and nerve openings. This is often found in the lower (lumbar) spine.

Spondylarthrosis of the cervical spine manifests itself in neck pain and reduced movability of the cervical spine. Often, the pain radiates to the shoulders and arms. Many patients also report an uncomfortable “cracking” in the neck. Only in few cases, the thoracic spine is affected.