Facet Joint Syndrome Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Facet Joint Syndrome Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you some stretches and exercises facet joint syndrome. Let’s get started. So the facet joints
are the little joints in your spine that help it bend and twist. So not where the
vertebrae are, but the little joints on the back. So when those are inflamed and
irritated, it makes a really painful to twist and then and do things like that.
So we’re going to start off with some stretches on our back, my stock is falling
off, and just to start off we’re going to a simple knee to chest stretch. So this
is the one where you want to grab underneath. Some people grab on top, but
if you happen to have any knee issues, make sure you grab underneath. And then
just pull your knee towards your chest as far as you comfortably can and hold
that stretch for about 30 seconds. And then after the 30 seconds, switch sides. Hold that stretch nice big
pull. You should feel it underneath that lower
back area a little bit, and then do that three times on each side. Then you’re
going to go into some pelvic tilts. The pelvic tilts are the ones where you want
to kind of flatten out your back tighten up those core muscles, almost like I
like to call it when you’re fake laughing when you go haha and those
muscles tighten up but you want actually movement in the pelvis. So if you’re just
squeezing and it’s not going anywhere, that’s not quite the movement. You want
actually tilt it back and flatten out your back. So it’s almost like if someone
had their hands there or your hands, you’re trying to squish it into the
ground. So hold that for about three to five seconds, and then do 10 of those.
Then you’re going to go up into a bridge, so just bringing your hips up until your
body’s pretty flat in the air. So coming up and then when you come back down, come
back down nice and slow, that’s the important part. Almost one segment at a
time so you’re really stretching out those facet joints as you go. And then same thing coming up nice and
controlled, slow coming up and then slowly coming back down. The same thing
do about 10 of those to start off with. Now we’re going to flip over and go into
a child’s pose. With the child’s pose, spread your knees out just a little bit
so you can come down, put your arms out in front of you, and just take your
bottom down towards your heels, and then come down as low as you comfortably can.
You might not be able to get quite as far as me, if you’re not as flexible, but
go down as far as you comfortably can and hold it for about 30 seconds. And
then come back up and then do three of those. The next one is going to be a
little bit of a rotation stretch, but you want to stretch the upper part of your
body versus when you’re lying down and your rotating your legs, this time we’re
going to rotate our arms. So you’re going to be in this quadruped position, and
then take your arm and bring it underneath and pull through. So you’re
rotating that upper body to get that stretch, and for this one you can just
hold it for about three to five seconds, and then come up and then rotate the
other way. So going about three to five seconds doing five on each side. Now
we’re going to go into some quadruped exercises and you can start off pretty
slow just doing maybe the arms first, but make sure your
shoulders are pretty much in line with your hands. So you don’t want it way out, there’s a hair, or you don’t want it way under you want to you know pretty straight up and
down to protect your shoulders. And then you can start off with something easy by
just doing the arms, kind of alternating back and forth. Keeping your back nice
and flat so it’s not sagging down it’s not coming up, and then you can just do
your legs a kick out, alternating back, and forth just maybe
doing about 10 on each side, and then if those become pretty easy then you can do
opposite arm, opposite leg. So some people call this the bird dog, but try and keep your back pretty flat like there was something on it you wouldn’t want it
to fall off. So you’re not leaning over one where the other, you’re really
working on those core muscles. And then the last stretch is just the cat stretch.
So still on all fours, and you’re gonna arch your back up and tuck your chin in,
just like a cat stretching, and then hold this one for about 15 to 20 seconds, and
do five of those. So big hold, getting that bend, getting that movement in those
joints and then coming back down. So there you have it, those are your
stretches and exercises facet joint syndrome. If you have questions leave in
the comments section. If you’d like to check out some other videos go to
askdoctorjo.com And remember be safe have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

60 Replies to “Facet Joint Syndrome Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. thank you so much doc! you are helping us realy….and between us you have a harmonic body maybe that you are a specialist physical therapy and stretches 😉

  2. Great video as usual, i was wondering if you made/going to make a video for patients in a wheelchair and for overweight patients 🙂

  3. Thanks JO! I am a LONG TIME sufferer of facet joint pain:( One thing I find soothing, when you are doing the cat stretches, shift backwards, bringing your bottom to heels, like going into child's pose, but with the spine in the cat stretch is very comforting. I love this video, thanks for making it.

  4. Fantastic as always Dr Jo, I just had a lumbar facet Injection hoping it helps. If pain in the back from facet where can the referred pain be felt?

  5. hey jo, i have OA in both knees from years of hard court tennis, have had treatment this past year with injections and physio to build up my muscles. i do the knee pull ups and the flattening of the back excercises in the 1st half of the vid, would you say that these could help knees? i truly believe that these have certainly helped my situation…

  6. Thanks for sharing this video. My wife is suffering from lower Facet joint pain for more than 4-5 months and now she is donig osteopath treatment once in a week and getting definitely getting some pain relief. I am searching some good excersise to speed up the process and found your amazing tips. I got two questions. 1) She is 15 weeks pregnant now and is it safe to do this exercises while you are pregnant? 2)Is Facet joint pain can be cured completely with this exercises? Thanks in advance. Cheers, Nik

  7. Hi Jo, been told Im suffering from lumbar facet joint dysfunction. Left side lower back and sometimes the pain goes down to left thigh. Would these exercises help relieve this?

  8. ive really had at first some bad docs. they didn tell me nothing nor help. really just lied but i got copies and looking up things. thank u. very helpful. i saved it

  9. Wow, this is great I have had physical therapist and a chiropractor advise me to do exercise for pain and strength. And none of the moves you show, other than "child's pose", was taught to me ,until today! A facet problem that started over 3 years ago and after 1 session ,instant relief!! this is going to be part of my daily routine. I cannot express how grateful I am, Dr. Jo!!! Lifesaver!

  10. Would losing some weight also help? I have been having terrible pain and was finally diagnosed (after 3 years and 10 doctors) with facet syndrome. I am really desperate for relief, mine radiates into my left shoulder

  11. Very good vedeo. I am having lumbar facet joint arthropathy following laminectomy with discectomy at L4 L5 level 17 years back. Is this excercises okay for me too?

  12. Hi Dr Jo-just diagnosed with facet joint syndrome in the lumber region. Found these exercises! Thanks. Do you have others for facet joint that I can also use?

  13. Hi Jo, my X-Ray report says 'L5/S1 disc space narrowing with facet arthropathy noted'. Is it ok for me to do these exercises from this video?

  14. Hi doctor Jo! I had my MRI few days ago for my lumbar spine and right knee. The impression on the results says I have a "minimal L3-4 and L4-5 facet joint effusions" and"minimal right knee joint effusions". What does that means? Do I have a facet joint syndrome already? I'm hoping you can help me on this. 🙂

  15. As a person who had facet joint injections yesterday and has had facet joint problems for a long time, I haven't been able to lie flat on my back for as long as I can remember. Is this only me as all of these videos are showing people lying flat on their backs which as far as I know is not comfortable for someone with Facet Joint problems?

  16. I have pain on the left side of the lower back and when I do the first stretch you showed with the RIGHT leg, it hurt immensely on the left side

  17. I experience pain in the inner thighs that I equate to severity of labor pains. They are NOT cramps but severe debilitating nerve pain that extends from inner thigh to knee. Sometimes it happens in only one thigh, sometimes in both. It paralyzes the leg affected. My body is bent at the waist as well, unable to stand upright. Episodes will happen after physical activities for which perhaps I have not sufficiently prepared (exercises). I have had surgery, laminectomy and foraminotomy, at L3, 4, and 5–December, 2016. It corrected one issue, but not this one. Pain Management doctor recommended epidurals at theses areas to relieve or omit these episodes. I have begun your recommended exercises and have already experienced some relief. You are a blessing. MY QUESTION: are there exercises I SHOULD NOT be doing that would be counter productive. Thank you so much. Please keep providing this service to the public—you are a “God send” for sure. Thank you.

  18. Hello my LBA and right lowre pain MRI shows L4 L5 facet joint disease.Stress X ray shows Grade 1 listhesis at L4L5 level.can u please help him.

  19. Hi Dr.Jo, I had RFA on my facet joints last Wednesday. Just started today to try and stretch and found your program. I find the bridge hard as my back is still sore. My groins and hips still have a lot of nerve pain. Any stretches that may help this too! Thanks for a very easy to follow program.

  20. Hello Ma'am goodeveving now my told i have spondylolisthesis that is 1st grade. Now i'm going to physio Training. Can tell some Exercises.

  21. I was told I has facet joint syndrome and I feel the pain in my lower back.the last exercise you did which is the cat stretch I felt pain more when I did the exercise.hope it won't be harmful in any way to my back

  22. Hello dr. Joe I have just had my third session of cortisone into my lumbar facets, both sides, I am on the waiting list for knee surgery are there modifications to the exercises in this video,that require being on hands and knees, which would make them possible for me to do?

  23. 🗽 Dr Jo is a hero… fearlessly leading: aching, middle age American's off of the couch and back in the 🎮 game.🗽

  24. Hi Doctor Jo. I damaged my facets doing strongman training some years ago. I still go to the gym and lifts weights but every now and again, my joints spasm and I'm left in agony until my oesteopath fixes me. Obviously i want to avoid spasm attacks occuring but i do not want to give up lifting weights. Does this routine strengthen the core around the facets (to protect them) and how often should i perform this routine? Any other advice is welcome too. Great channel btw 😁

  25. Just finished my first set. Pelvic tilts and bridges slightly painful but not intolerable. Overall I would say feeling a little better. Getting on the treadmill and plan on doing another set later today. I am hopeful and encouraged that this will help. Haven't been able to work for a couple days……

  26. Hello doctor
    Are these stretches helpful or safe for bulging disc too bcaz I have bulging discs and facet joints syndromes at the same level l4 l5 and l5 s1. The bulging discs compress thecall sac, traversing nerve root and recess bilateral?

  27. Hi Dr. Jo. Happy new year!

    I have been suffering this syndrome since 1.5 years ago. I have been painless in the last 3 months because of your exercises.

    I would like to thank you a lot for sharing your knowlede and helping others.

    May God bless you Doctor.

  28. My lower spine feels like it shifts or moves when I lie down with my legs raised on pillows,what’s the possible explanation for this?
    I have a central disc protrusion at l5 s1, disc bulge at l4 L5 with facet hypertrophy and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy and stable narrowing of the left lateral recess at this level touching the L5 traversing nerve root.
    Is my “spine shift” caused by the disc protrusion or the facet issues??

  29. Hi Dr Jo I got chronic lower left side back pain for last 1 year. MRI shows l4 and l5 mild arthropathy of facet joints is this exercise are helpful for me and how long I have to do. Thanks

  30. Hi Doctor Jo, I have grade 1 spondylolisthesis. In the last month, after I walk for around 5 minutes or longer, when I go to sit down or lay down, I have a sharp pain in lower back around the top of the pelvic bone. When I turn over after laying down, i really have a sharp pain for about 15 to 30 seconds. Then, it kinda settles down. Is this from facet joints or si joints. Also, I had bad sciatica pain, getting better now with the sciatica pain but the pain I describe above is a new pain. Also, have some pain during my walking. What do you think?

  31. Hi Doctor Jo, I had an L5-S1 total disc replacement surgery with the Activ-L prosthetic some months ago to correct grade 1 retrolisthesis and a constantly reherniating disc. The surgery was successful, but my surgeon left me without proper physical therapy. I have been going to PT, but they are not giving me detailed care as they are not familiar with dealing with someone who has a lumbar disc prosthetic. My problem is that I am having terrible facet pain on my right side which is caused by what I think is my right hip flexors not engaging properly when walking and standing. I have made some headway with certain exercises and core strengthening, but can't seem to shake this facet pain. I cant seem to get the hip flexors to engage all the way while my hip is extended. Is there anything you can recommend me to do or any resources you can refer me to? I am doing my best, but in pain all day and night. Many thanks.

  32. So nice and easy.Can I still do these stretches and exercises when I have some tightness on the right side of my neck?

  33. Hi Dr. Jo! I had an L4/L5 discetomy in 2007, and after a couple of years, felt pretty normal for the most part. I hurt my back again in 2015, and after a couple of cortisone shots, I felt okay until 2017 when I had another L4/L5 discectomy because of horrible sciatic pain. Since that surgery, I've had facet joint spasms every couple of months and end up walking around crooked for days. It's painful. Would additional cortisone shots help? I'm a pretty active person, I walk about 6-7 miles per day and hike a lot. Thanks for the great exercises here. I did go to PT after my last surgery.

  34. I have pain around L1 when bending forward. Physio thinks possibly facet joint inflammation. Would these stretches help me? Thanks

  35. Thank you, Dr. Jo. Are these safe for mild lumbar Retrolisthesis? The current status is stabilized through advanced medical massage at no pain or tension within time limits. Building endurance is needed.

  36. If pain is extending to neck and shoulder too with the back pain .. is there specific exercises for these areas??

  37. Thank you. Great sequence.

    What about a person who enjoys doing sets of 2 second hold stretches rather than holding for 30 seconds on the need to chest position? Is there any reason they should not modify to their preference?

  38. i was diagnosed having Mild Facetal Arthropathy at L3-L4. is this exercises are good for this condition?

  39. Feeling really optimistic after my first workout session, really must make a daily habit of doing these. Just what my poor painful back needs for sure. Thankyou Dr you are a lifesaver.

  40. Thanks Mam. I am suffering from Ankylosing Spondolysis for about 7 years. And now it's going to lock my facet joint. I think these excercise will really help me to recover from facet joint. Thanks a lot.

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