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Thoracic Facet Joint Sprain

Thoracic facet joint pain is also commonly referred to as thoracic facet joint syndrome, facet joint disease, facet joint sprain, but mostly it is a pain caused by a facet joint injury.

Each section of your spine has facet joints. The function of each pair of facet joints is to guide and limit the movement of that spinal motion segment. Facet joint pain is one of the most common causes of neck pain, back pain and thoracic spine pain.

What is Thoracic Facet Joint Sprain?

Thoracic Facet Joint Sprain is characterized by moderate to severe damage to the connective tissues components of thoracic vertebral joints. The disease or tearing process usually involves ligaments, tendons and cartilage of the facet joints (especially upper thoracic vertebral joints).

Thoracic Facet Joint Sprain

Signs and Symptoms of Thoracic Facet Joint Sprain

Classic symptoms of thoracic facet joint sprain are:

  • Aggravation of pain during moderate physical activity
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain in back
  • Sneezing and Coughing

Causes of Thoracic Facet Joint Sprain

It has been observed that Thoracic Facet Joint Sprain is usually caused by abnormal twisting, bending, or lifting movements of the thoracic joints. In addition, chronic inappropriate posture, poor sleeping habits, repetitive injuries or congenital defects can also lead to thoracic joint sprain.

Statistics and Epidemiology related to Thoracic Facet Joint Sprain

The prevalence of facet joint pain in Australia is about 42%. Extensive clinical study indicates that more than 55% cases of thoracic facet joint pain are due to sprain or joint injury (1).

Reference:
  1. Manchikanti, L., Boswell, M. V., Singh, V., Pampati, V., Damron, K. S., & Beyer, C. D. (2004). Prevalence of facet joint pain in chronic spinal pain of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 5(1), 15. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/5/15
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