Right side L5 - S1 Facet Joint Arthritis ( Bone Scan Study ) Nov 2011

by Nando Campana
(Melb, Vic, Australia)

Dear Chiropractic Help,

My name is Nando Campana from Melbourne Australia, thankyou for your website and newsletter I find them to be most helpful.

3 years ago I hurt my back turning to the left to get the road map whislt I was sitting in a car. I felt pain in my lower back right side but was able to continue working.

It was very sore for the next few days and settled a bit but the pain has never gone away and still hurts. It has since become chronic and the following treatment have not helped.

Chiro ( not sure how good he was )

It also led to time off work and reduced hours for 6 months ( i am back to my usual 30 hours per week now ). It also led to depression for the last 15 months, I am currently coming off my medication ( endep ) slowly.

I went to see a rheumatologist who organised the above scan and she suggested a facet joint injection ( cortizone and anaesthetic )which i declined to have as I wanted to know if there was any other way of helping reduce or get rid of the pain.

I would be most grateful for any thing you could suggest , if i have to have the facet joint injection i will but am reluctant to do so.

Many thanks and appreciation

Yours sincerely


Hello Nando,
There's nothing unusual in facet joint arthritis per se. It's common.
What's not uncommon either unfortunately is the chronic nature of the condition.
First off, a couple questions. Any pain in the leg? Secondly, did you/do you have pain bending forwards or backwards?
Thirdly, are you doing any exercises. Faithfully, every single day? I would strongly recommend our Lower Back Exercises page. Read it carefully and thoroughly, digest it, find the exercises that suit you and do them faithfully EVERY morning before getting out of bed. Take it slowly, you're not training for the Olympics!

You've followed the general guidelines rather well, move from one form of treatment to another, the conservative first. No problem there. How about shopping around, talk to friends and family, colleagues and find another chiro. Take your X-rays and scans.
Let me know how you get on.
Dr B

Comments for Right side L5 - S1 Facet Joint Arthritis ( Bone Scan Study ) Nov 2011

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Dec 01, 2012
by: Anonymous

Hi Dr B,

Thankyou for your reply it is much appreciate.

In answer to your questions

I am 47 yo

No leg pain

No pain bending forward or backwards

Cervical Slump test is negative, i have had it done a few times by various practitioners


I started doing your facet joint exercises about a week ago morning and night.

I also attend once per week water exercises in a 35 degrees hot hydrotherapy pool.

I also go to the gym twice per week and do a exercise program consisting of a warm up, then some multijoint exercies and stretching this takes about 50 minutes.

I also walk or ride my bike to work which is 2km from home.


The pain comes and goes and there are times when I have no pain at all.

I can usully sleep the whole night but 1-2 nights per week I have to take some pain medication at night as the pain stops me sleeping.

I also have pain even when I am resting, which gets worse with the following

I sit for too long ( 30 minutes or so ) especially in the car or a bad chair.

When I do physical work such as gardening, heavy cleaning, lifting etc.

Also when i walk sometimes I get pain in my lower back right hand side a few minutes into my walk and sometimes no pain at all for 30 minutes?

I will have a look around for another Chiropractor and see if I can get some help with the pain and I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question.


All of this is very encouraging, Nando, and certainly suggests that it's very treatable with the right chiropractic approach.
Be sure to tell the new chiro, as accurately as you can, be specific, what treatment didn't help before. If s/he simply repeats that, it will probably fail again. A different approach is needed, and there are many in chiropractic.

Good luck.
Dr B

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