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Cervical Facet Syndrome (Head/Neck) treatment guide


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Guide Overview

A brief summary of what you'll find inside our treatment guide.


Cervical Facet Syndrome is a chronic condition, which means that it often develops over a long period. It’s estimated that up to 65% of all neck pain occurs within cervical facet joints.

The facet joints are made up of several structures including disc, bone, cartilage, and connective tissue and any number of these components can be affected.

Causes (Aetiology)

Cervical Facet Syndrome is a painful condition caused when one or more of the small joints in the neck become irritated; often as a result of repetitive movement or overuse.

Signs and symptoms

Pain often begins in one specific area and then spreads into the surrounding muscles and shoulders. Cervical Facet Syndrome often feels better with rest and a little pain relief but without effective rehabilitation, it always comes back when returning to normal activity, sport or exercise.

Symptoms include:

  • Constant toothache type pain which is sharp on movement

  • Pain and stiffness which is worse in the morning or after sitting

  • Guarding, tightness or spasm into the surrounding muscles

  • A feeling of weakness in the muscles of the shoulder or arm

Acute phase management

Most people fail in their treatment of Cervical Facet Syndrome because they are unable to identify the cause of their pain. Once the source has been identified, effective steps can be taken to manage the symptoms.

Our treatment guide will help you to identify what’s causing your neck pain and create the right conditions to begin effective rehabilitation.

Post-acute phase management

Post-acute phase rehabilitation involves the staged introduction of isometric, concentric and eccentric muscle stretches, scar tissue removal and proprioceptive exercises to lengthen the muscles and strengthen the ligaments and connective tissues.

Condition-specific exercises will help you achieve a full, pain-free range of movement to stop the symptoms coming back.


Cervical Facet Syndrome responds well to self-treatment and conservative care; although recovery times are dependent on the severity of the condition.

Our treatment guide provides comprehensive tips and advice to achieve a full recovery in the shortest possible time.


If you follow the treatment guide correctly and are diligent with the rehabilitation programme complications are unlikely.

Without correct rehabilitation, there may be residual stiffness, reduced range of movement, and intermittent ‘flare-ups’.

Periodic stretching and joint mobilisation to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation are some of the techniques contained in our treatment guide to help prevent reoccurrence.

Start today and fast track your recovery!

Our guides contain all the latest clinical advice for musculoskeletal healthcare.

You can save hundreds of pounds or dollars on expensive physical therapy by treating the condition simply and effectively at home.

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Cervical Facet Syndrome (Head/Neck) treatment guide

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