Facet joints are what guide and limit the movement of the spine. These joints are located in pairs on each segment of the spinal cord except for the very top of your vertebrae. Roughly one-fifth of the twisting ability of your neck and lower back is controlled by facet joints.
A small capsule surrounds each facet joint providing a nourishing lubricant for the joint. Each joint is supplied with tiny nerve fibers that provide a painful stimulus when the joint is injured or irritated. These joints can degenerate over time due to aging or disease, which can result in numerous conditions of pain.
Damage to the lower back may cause stiffness resulting in difficulty standing up or maintaining good posture. Cervical damage (near the neck) can make it difficult to move and twist your head.
When the cartilage in joints wears thin, the body begins to produce a material to shore the cartilage (these are called bone spurs). This material can calcify, hardening and causing stiffness in the joint. This can lead to inflammation and osteoporosis. Powerful muscle spasms can occur due to the inflammation. The joints can also degenerate and slip forward in a advanced cases such as spondylolisthesis.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, a common joint disorder, refers to pain in the sacroiliac joint region that is caused by abnormal motion in the sacroiliac joint (around your hip). This can result in debilitating pain due to inflammation of the sacroiliac joint. Common symptoms include lower back pain, buttocks pain, sciatic leg pain, groin pain, hip pain, urinary frequency, numbness, prickling, or tingling. The pain can range from dull to stabbing pain and increases with motion.