Your observations are spot on. The medial branches of the facets are painful and palpation will reveal the types of pain you experience.
Don’t worry too much regarding the chronic pain cycle starting up. Most patients when treated for the pain generator will not have continuing pain.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.