Facet Syndrome

The facet joints are located between each vertebra and are responsible for the flexibility and stability necessary for movements such as walking, running, bending and sitting. The facet joints are lined with cartilage, which helps them move smoothly; when this cartilage wears down, the bones rub against each other, causing facet joint pain — the stiffness, swelling, tenderness and pain associated with facet syndrome.

What Causes Facet Syndrome?

As we age, our joints go through normal wear and tear, causing the cartilage to break down. Because facet syndrome is directly related to joints being affected by cartilage loss, some doctors will refer to it as osteoarthritis. Though it is typically the result of aging, younger people can develop facet syndrome after an injury or overuse.

When joints initially become damaged, they will become stiff, painful and swollen. While the inflammation will not last, the pain and stiffness can cause a chronic problem. Some risk factors for developing facet syndrome include being overweight, being in a car accident resulting in whiplash, family history, or the presence of arthritis in other joints.

Facet syndrome can occur in the upper, middle and/or lower spine, and include symptoms such as: 

  • Pain in the lower back that radiates to the buttock and thighs
  • Neck pain that spreads to head, arms and shoulders
  • Pain that is alleviated when leaning forward, and intensified when leaning backward
  • Discomfort that is aggravated by sitting for long periods of time

What are the Treatment Options for Facet Syndrome?

To properly diagnose your facet syndrome, your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam, along with ordering some imaging tests including MRI, CT or X-ray scans. Your doctor may also choose to perform a facet joint injection to confirm your pain is the result of facet syndrome. These injections will consist of a pain medication and steroids for inflammation. Using a dye and X-ray for guidance, your doctor will inject the mixture into the suspected damaged facet joint to see if your pain is relieved.

These injections, paired with physical therapy, can be successful in treating your pain long term. You can also consider medial branch blocks, which use an injection of anesthetics to interrupt the sensory nerves which transmit pain signals to your brain. Should these methods be ineffective, a fusion surgery may be considered in order to help stabilize the damaged joints and to keep them from moving.

If you are tired of living with the pain of facet syndrome, contact Integrated Pain Management today for a personal consultation on how we can best eliminate your discomfort.

What we offer

Our Services

PRP Stem Cell Theraphy

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an innovative regenerative therapy that leverages the growth factors in your blood to heal your body.


Besides treating headache,
Dr. Roofian specializes in treating cervicogenic headaches, a head pain that originates in the neck.

Shoulder Pain

Dr. Roofian offers a variety of treatment solutions designed to treat your temporary or chronic shoulder pain at its source.

Herniated Disk

Dr. Roofian performs a physical exam, evaluates your symptoms & may recommend a digital imaging scan to rule out conditions.

IV Ketamine Infusion Treatment

Dr. Roofian designs individualized treatment protocols based on the nature of your pain and your responsiveness to initial sessions.

Knee Pain

Dr. Roofian is a pain management specialist offering knee pain treatments for men and women of all ages in Beverly Hills, Tarzana, and Chula Vista, California.

Lower Back Pain

Dr. Roofian reviews your personal and family medical history, discusses your pain, and performs a physical examination to reach an accurate diagnosis.

Pain Management on Lien

Dr. Roofian offers healthcare services for personal or workers compensation cases on a lien. If you’ve sustained a personal or work-related injury.

Our Locations

Choose your preferred location

Shawn Roofian, MD, Beverly Hills, CA
Phone (appointments): 310-926-4922 | Phone (general inquiries): 310-926-4922
Address: 8500 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 105, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Shawn Roofian, MD, Tarzana, CA
Phone (appointments): 310-926-4922 | Phone (general inquiries): 310-926-4922
Address: 5620 Wilbur Avenue, Suite 305, Tarzana, CA 91356

Shawn Roofian, MD, Glendale, CA
Phone (appointments): 310-926-4922 | Phone (general inquiries): 310-926-4922
Address: 111 E Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206

4.91/5 |
(66 reviews)