Facet Joint Pain Exercises

Are you experiencing facet joint pain? If so, these facet joint pain exercises are for you. The emphasis of this program is performing stretching exercises that will help to minimize the compression that is associated with facet irritation.




As part of an overall back pain treatment program remember to minimize aggravating activities. With facet joint pain, standing and walking are generally aggravating. Until symptoms improve, minimize these activities.

In addition, reducing inflammation is a key part to reducing pain. Utilize ice therapy to minimize inflammation by applying ice to the lower back, 10 to 15 minutes at a time, three times a day. As always, anti-inflammatory medication can also be helpful so consult your doctor regarding appropriate medication.

When performing each stretch of this lower back pain exercise program you should feel a mild ‘pull’ but NO PAIN. If you do feel pain, reduce the intensity of the stretch. If pain continues, stop performing the stretch.


Single Knee to Chest Stretch

Lie on your back on the floor or a firm surface. Using your hands for assistance, bring one knee up toward your chest. Be careful not to compress the knee. If knee pain occurs use your hands on the back of the thigh instead of the front of the knee. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat three times on each leg, twice a day.



Double knee to Chest Stretch

Lie on your back on the floor or a firm surface. Using your hands for assistance, bring both knees up toward your chest. Be careful not to compress the knee. If knee pain occurs use your hands on the back of the thigh instead of the front of the knee. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat three times, twice a day.



Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back on the floor or firm surface. Use a jump rope, dog leash, or belt, and hook it around the ball of your foot on the leg you will be stretching. Keeping the leg straight, use your arms and the rope to lift the leg up. The stretch should be felt in the back of the knee or back of the thigh. Hold this stretch for 60 seconds. Repeat two times for each leg, twice a day.



Piriformis Stretch

Lie on your back on the floor or firm surface. To stretch the right leg, place the right ankle on the left knee. While maintaining this position, bring the left leg up toward your chest. Use your hands on the back of the left thigh to assist with bringing the left knee up to your chest. You should feel the stretch in the buttocks of the right leg. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat two times on each leg, two times a day.



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