During twisting or extending movements of the spine, stretching or compressive forces are placed on the facet joints causing irritation.
Facet joint sprains typically occur during excessive bending, lifting or twisting typically from traumatic or repetitive/prolonged forces.
Signs & Symptoms:
Pain most typically one side greater than the other, often associated with same side hip pain, and sensation changes if severe.
Rest and anti-inflammatory medication initially for 48 hours, followed by manual treatment for muscle spasm and tightness, before commencing core stability, flexibility and mobility exercises.
Patient should notice significant pain reduction over the initial two weeks following injury if seeking treatment and avoiding aggravating activities. Total recovery is typically 4 to 6 weeks with complimentary core strengthening and education to decrease risk of recurrence.