Facet Arthropathy

Pacific Pain Physicians

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Barbara, CA & San Luis Obispo, CA

Arthritis can affect any joint in your body, including the joints that make up your spine. Facet arthropathy refers to the general wear and tear in your spine that comes with age and can lead to significant back pain that affects your quality of life. The experienced team at Pacific Pain Physicians in Santa Barbara, California, specializes in managing the pain that develops from facet arthropathy and can help you get the relief you seek so you can get back to doing the things that make you happy. Call Pacific Pain Physicians today or request an appointment online.

Facet Arthropathy Q & A


What is facet arthropathy?

Facet arthropathy is a term that describes the wearing away of the joints in your spine over time that ultimately leads to arthritis. Your facet joints are the bones found in the back of your vertebrae that provide your spine with its mobility.

Your facet joints are lined with cartilage that help keep the mobility of your spine smooth and painless. However, as you get older, the cartilage that surrounds your facet joint begins to wear away, which allows for bone-on-bone contact, resulting in inflammation and pain.

What are the symptoms of facet arthropathy?

Not everyone with facet arthropathy develops symptoms. But if you experience discomfort, it’s most often at the site of the degenerative joint. The pain may be sharp and you may notice that it worsens with certain activities and radiates above and below the facet joint.

How is facet arthropathy treated?

The team at Pacific Pain Physicians takes an individualized approach to the management of your facet arthropathy. Your treatment may depend on the location of your facet arthropathy, the severity of your symptoms, and medical history.

Treatment options at Pacific Pain Physicians include:


Rhizotomy is a treatment aimed at the sensory nerves responsible for your pain. During treatment, the nerves are severed with heat so they can no longer transmit the pain signals.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a blood product the specialists at Pacific Pain Physicians create from a sample of your own blood that contains a concentrated amount of platelets and growth factors. When injected into your degenerated joint, the platelets and growth factors accelerate the healing process to help relieve pain.

Facet joint injection

A facet joint injection may help your specialist identify the exact source of your pain. The injection contains a local anesthetic and a steroid.

Your specialist works one-on-one with you to develop the most effective treatment plan to help you get relief from your facet joint pain.

Facet arthropathy can lead to debilitating pain, but the team at Pacific Pain Physicians offers a number of treatment options to relieve your discomfort and improve your quality of life. Call the office today or book an appointment online.