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Back Pain | Mechanical Disorders | Inflammatory & Infectious Disorders | Tumours | Trauma | Osteoporosis
Back Pain – Mechanical Causes: Facet Joints (Zygapophyseal Joints)

Facet Joints (or Zygapophyseal Joints)

The facet joints are also termed zygapophyseal joints. Each vertebral body has four facet joints that work like hinges. These are the articulating (moving) joints of the spine that enable extension, flexion, and rotation. Like other joints, the bony articulating surfaces are coated with cartilage. Cartilage is a special type of connective tissue that provides a self-lubricating and low-friction gliding surface. Facet joint degeneration causes loss of cartilage and formation of osteophytes (eg, bone spurs). These changes may cause hypertrophy or osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease.

There are numerous mechanical causes of back pain including:

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