Original Research

The intervertebral joints II: The facet joints

Jeanette Mitchell
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 50, No 1 | a680 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v50i1.680 | © 2018 Jeanette Mitchell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 September 2018 | Published: 28 February 1994

About the author(s)

Jeanette Mitchell, Department of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, South Africa

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The anatomy of the facet joints, also known as the zygapophyseal, apophyseal or lateral intervertebral joints, is described in detail. Particular reference is made to the changing orientation of the articular facets in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar parts of the spine, allowing different ranges of movement in these regions. Possible causes for back pain are explained as a function of the biomechanics of the vertebral column.


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