How Physical Therapy Helps Facet Joint Dysfunction Back Pain

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Physical Therapy: A Supportive Approach for Facet Joint Dysfunction and Back Pain


Pain in the back can be debilitating and is one of the most common reasons why people seek medical attention. Facet joint dysfunction is a term used to describe pain caused by inflamed joints in the spinal column, which can further cause discomfort in the back.

Fortunately, physical therapy offers a supportive approach to managing this type of pain. From exercises to techniques that aim to restore range of motion, physical therapy helps patients with facet joint dysfunction and back pain in many ways. Whether through manual therapy to relieve inflammation or targeted exercises to strengthen the back muscles, physical therapy is an effective way to manage pain and reduce the need for medication or invasive procedures. Overall, with a qualified and experienced physical therapist, patients can experience pain relief, improved mobility, and better quality of life.

What To Expect At Physical Therapy

Patients seeking treatment for facet joint dysfunction or lower back pain can expect a thorough intake process when visiting a physical therapist. In this process, the therapist will discuss the patient’s medical history, perform a comprehensive examination, and run mobility and strength tests. This information forms the basis of a tailored treatment plan that caters to their individual needs.

Treatment plans include manual therapy techniques like therapeutic massage, mobilization, and manipulation, as well as exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and posture. By going through this process, patients can look forward to regaining their health and alleviating their pain.

What Types Of Exercises You Might Do

The types of exercises prescribed by a physical therapist depend on the individual’s needs but they may include:

  • Core stabilization exercises – this helps build muscle strength around your lower back
  • Range-of-Motion (ROM) exercises – this helps improve flexibility in your spine
  • Posture improvement drills – these help you maintain proper posture during daily activities
  • Balance activities – this helps improve coordination and reduce the risk of falls
  • Back extension stretches – this helps reduce stiffness and tension in your lower spine

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Physical therapy takes 4 to 6 weeks to ease facet joint dysfunction or back pain. Although, the severity of symptoms may affect recovery time. Patients must stay consistent with treatment and home exercise programs to strengthen muscles supporting the spine and reduce future flare-ups. Relief from this condition takes at least 8 weeks.


Physical therapy is an effective approach for alleviating symptoms of facet joint dysfunction and chronic back pain. It requires dedication from both the patient and therapist. Through manual therapy and tailored strengthening exercises, physical therapists can provide the needed support, ensuring relief from pain.

Moreover, physical therapy also leads to improved mobility and posture over time. By addressing the root causes of pain and targeting specific areas of concern, patients can experience long-term benefits. With the guidance of a skilled therapist, individuals can regain their strength, enhance their range of motion, and ultimately improve their overall quality of life.