Back or neck pain can originate in the facet joints of your spine, leading to a condition called facet joint syndrome. Unlike other causes of back or neck pain, facet joint syndrome pain may be sporadic or intermittent. It can radiate into the shoulder, back, or arms, and can even cause headaches. When lumbar facet joints are affected, pain can extend down the back to the buttocks or the back of the thighs.

Pressing on the area of the inflamed facet joint will sometimes produce pain. Often, pain is somewhat relieved when leaning forward, but intensified when leaning back. Sitting in one position for an extended time, such as when driving in the car, tends to exacerbate it, as well.

Do you think this syndrome may be the cause of your back pain? Read on to learn more about the causes and characteristics of and treatment options for this painful condition.