The Vault

Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors. One is facet disease, or degeneration of the joints of the low back. These joints allow us to rotate our spine back and forth and forwards and backwards. The facets of the low back are at risk of early degeneration because they are at the junction of a rigid bony pelvis attached to a stable rib cage.

Facet disease is one of the most common causes of back pain. Patients will experience pain in the middle of the back that often radiates down the buttocks and into the back of the thighs. It usually feels worse with leaning back and rotating, and better with bending forward. Anything we can do to off load the spine will help with this condition. This includes weight loss, core strengthening, and back bracing. Advanced disease may require further interventions such as medial branch blocks and radiofrequency ablation. Please see our treatment section for a detailed explanation of these treatments.