Dr. Butwell Cares for Neck Pain and Painful Cervical Spine Facet Joints

June 07, 2022

Zygapophyseal joints are also named facet joints. Facet is a bit simpler to pronounce than zygapophyseal, and Dr. Butwell knows ‘facet’ is a whole lot easier to write out than 'zygaopophyseal’! These joints are well-documented as sources of cervical spine pain for countless adults of all ages. Dr. Butwell uses gentle chiropractic spinal manipulation to ease neck pain like that created by facet joint innervation.


The plotting of normal volunteers’ responses to stimulation of cervical facet joints in the 1990s was groundbreaking. Five volunteers stepped up to have their cervical spine facet joints stimulated to see where neck pain and arm pain were felt. Wow! These volunteers’ pain reactions produced some much appreciated easy-to-understand pain charts. (1) A follow up study of 10 actual cervical pain patients that compared their pain to that described in the pain drawings of the normal volunteers to validate the original charts from normal volunteers. (2) Dr. Butwell sees verification of these normal volunteers’ pain reports in our Georgetown neck pain patients! Decompression of spinal nerves with chiropractic helps. 


New details from a recent dissection project included new knowledge to the part cervical facet joints (aka zygapophyseal joints) have in neck pain and arm pain. At some levels, more than one medial branch was found. Direct facet joint branches were seen that came from the dorsal root of the spinal nerve. These were independent from the medial branches in their direct path to the facet joint. Current day researchers wonder whether there is a more diverse pattern of innervation than has previously been noted. (3) Dr. Butwell values the nuances of spine pain and the research that found them.


Clinical observation, examination, and imaging results lead the diagnosis of neck pain given the complexity of cervical facet joints. (4) The cervical spine facet joint is innervated by mechanoreceptive (mechanical pressure-inducing) and nociceptive (nervous system related pain-inducing) nerve fibers engaging the dorsal root ganglia and end processes of the spinal cord. The central nervous system is complex and quick to respond to these painful stimuli, both pressure and nerve related. (5) That’s why your Georgetown chiropractor takes such care in examining, diagnosing and treating Georgetown neck pain. There are many factors to consider! Our Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management is gentle, non-thrust manipulative treatment of the cervical spine for Georgetown neck pain relief.

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Listen to the PODCAST with Dr. Sean Delahunt on the Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he describes the effective, gentle treatment with the Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management for his gentleman patient with neck pain and tingling in his arm and hand.     

Schedule your next Georgetown chiropractic appointment with Dr. Butwell. Pick your term: zygapophyseal or facet! We are here to discuss, diagnose, and treat them for neck and arm pain relief.

Dr. Butwell thoroughly examines, diagnoses, and treats cervical spine facet joints for neck pain relief when they are involved.