Facet Joint Injury From Car Accident is the most common cause of chronic pain. Such pain may occur alone or in conjunction with disc pain. It is not uncommon for a patient to experience injury to the facet joints on multiple levels. One cannot determine if a facet joint is the source of pain by looking at it on an X-ray or MRI scan. The only way to tell if the facet is the source of pain is to conduct a diagnostic test.
Injury to the intervertebral disc can also cause chronic pain. A person with disc pain can also have pain from a facet joint. The outer wall of the disc is known as the annulus. The annulus can be pinched or torn during a whiplash and cause pain that is communicated to the brain via peripheral nerve endings located in the annulus. The disc usually heals, but in some people the disc does not heal. A disc that does not heal may get weaker and cause pain even during normal activities. Disc injuries can also lead to pain when they bulge or herniate and push on the spinal cord or other spinal nerves.
A facet joint injury will rarely show up on an X-Ray or MRI. Physicians generally diagnose a facet joint injury From Car Accident as a function of symptoms, which include headaches, neck and upper back pain, shoulder pain and pain radiating down arms, dizziness, and sleep disorders. Lower-back facet joint injuries can also cause pain that radiates down an injured party’s hips and legs. Although facet joint injuries can occur solely as a result of age and bone degeneration, the vast majority of these injuries happen in motor vehicle accidents and slip-and-fall situations. A person who suffers pain from a facet joint injury will likely need some combination of chiropractic treatments and physical therapy. He or she may need to wear a neck brace or be placed in traction to straighten neck and back alignment. If Chiropractic Care and Medical treatments fail to alleviate pain, a physician will likely recommend spinal fusion surgery.
A person who suffers a facet joint injury may be reluctant to pursue damages from a negligent party because of the negative stereotypes in popular culture of individuals who claim “whiplash injuries” and who show up in court wearing neck braces in an attempt to garner sympathy from a judge or jury. If you have experienced a facet joint injury in an accident, however, you will know that the pain from that injury is very real and that it does affect your ability to work, earn wages, and enjoy your life. Courts and insurance companies are also very much aware that facet joint injuries are a common consequence of auto accidents and falls that are caused by another party’s negligent actions. Accordingly, you should not let a popular culture stereotype dissuade you from pursuing compensation for your injury.
What Is Facet Joints?
The facet joints help stabilize our spine, holding the spinal column in place and preventing excessive rotation (twisting) and flexion or extension (bending) of the spine.
Facet joints also prevent rotation of the vertebral column to a great degree. In addition, facet joints are necessary to prevent spondylolisthesis, which is forward slippage of one vertebra upon another. When this injury happens, the spinal canal gets compromised and there can be problems with pinching of the spinal cord.
Signs and Symptoms of Facet Joint Injuries
An injury to a facet joint can place uneven pressure along the spine. This accelerates the wear and tear of the joint, causing the smooth, flexible cartilage caps to become rough and irritated.
Symptoms of a facet injury and degeneration include:
- Chronic or reoccurring pain
- Muscle stiffness and spasms
- A dull ache in the low back and buttocks or shoulders and back of the head
- Arm or leg pain
- Ringing in ears
- Pain in the bottom, hips, groin or thighs
- Discomfort leaning backward
- Acute onset of neck, mid or low back or pain.
- Palpable tenderness directly over the facet joints and reduced range of motion and muscle spasms.
- In the neck, pain increases when extending backward and improves when flexing forward.
- In the low back, pain can radiate or extend from the back to the buttocks; pain is present when standing but increases with sitting.
- In the neck, the pain can radiate or extend from the neck onto the top of shoulders and upper shoulder blades.
- The pain and restricted motion are recurrent and ongoing.
Cervical facet joint pain is typically felt in the region at the base of the head, neck, upper back, shoulders, and mid-back. Lumbar facet syndrome is quite common since the lower back often bears the brunt of motion and weight of the upper body. It all depends on where the facet injury occurs.
Chiropractic And Facet Joint Injury From Car Accident
If you are suffering from back pain in Beaverton-Portland Oregon, chiropractic is a great place to start. Then, if you have been diagnosed with facet syndrome, a chiropractor will be able to help ease the pain you’re experiencing while simultaneously treating the cause of your problem to help overcome it.
It is important to note that facet syndrome can often be confused with other types of back pain. When the pain is at its peak, it can resemble other conditions like herniated disk, muscle injury/inflammation and minor fractures. For this reason, your chiropractor will need to perform a full examination to diagnose the conditions as facet syndrome. While these conditions may present many of the same symptoms, a chiropractors approach to treatment will vary depending on the diagnosis.
Chiropractic is a safe, effective, non-invasive, and drug free way to treat facet syndrome, relieve back pain, and help you regain your mobility. Talk to your chiropractor about your treatment options for facet syndrome.
If you have experienced a facet joint injury or disorder, Book a free consultation Online or contact Integrity Auto & Work Injury Chiropractic Clinic at (503) 352-0735 to learn more information about treating your injury.