Can Facet Joints in the Neck Cause Pain?

by Dr. P. Carl Rafey 21. June 2014 13:00

There are many structures in the neck that when injured or stressed can cause pain in the neck, head or shoulders.  Commonly, many doctors look to the muscle/ligament and intervertebral disc as sources.  One often overlooked source of acute and chronic pain is the facet joints which are found in the back of the vertebrae.  There are two at each level, a left and a right.

Interestingly enough, a recent study showed that head pain over the side of the head, upper temple regions will end in the forehead or behind the eye.  There are many presentations of pain in the neck and head when doctors evaluate patients and this study recommends thinking about the facet joints as a source of pain.  Facet pain responds very well to chiropractic treatment which should be part of a complete treatment program.


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