Can osteopathy help facet syndrome and spondylitis?

The facet joints are joints in the spine which allow for movement and when irritated the result is back pain, lack of mobility and other structural and postural illnesses. Another name for facet syndrome is osteoarthritis.

In general this syndrome is a degenerative diseases however facet síndrome can also be caused by repetitive movements, hypo lordosis and hypokyphosis.

If the injury is unilateral (one side of the vertebra) pain is usually felt while the patients back is in extension or rotation. An osteopath will apply pressure to the back in extension and rotation. The pain is experienced in the opposite side of the body that pressure is being applied to. If pain is experienced in the same side the injury is muscular not structural.

Osteopathy treatments for facet syndrome

1.       To release the blocked vertebra, the facets need to be opened. In extension that dictates that the osteopath works from the lowest part of the spine up for the thoracic spine.

2.       To open the lumber spine, the patient is placed in category 3 where manipulations are performed towards the sacrum and in rotation. The sacrum – iliac join is unblocked in flexion

3.       When in rotation it is dictated that the osteopath will unblock the vertebra in the opposite direction to the injury so if the pain is felt on the left side a rotation to the right is necessary.

4.       Stretching the surrounding muscle groups concentrating on the deep and superficial rotator muscles.

Can osteopathy help spondylitis?


Spondylitis is when the vertebra joints are inflamed and can produce calcification between the anterior and posterior ligaments. This calcification is also known as bamboo syndrome as the spine straightens and takes on the form of bamboo.

Although it is not always genetic, this syndrome effects more men than women and is common in people over the age of 30 years. Pain is felt at rest.

It is vital that an osteopath sees an X ray to treat spondylitis as manipulations to the vertebras that are calcified are not advised. Quiro massage, stretching and manipulating the surrounding areas is standard treatment and helps to reduce pain maintaining a level of health for back.

For more information regarding facet syndrome and spondylitis consult our center in Barcelona, Simplybe. Click here for more information or to book your first session.