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It may not be whiplash: Learn about facet joint pain

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2020 | Accidents & Injuries

When you get hurt, even something that will heal can have a significant impact on your life. It can take months or years to fully recover from some kinds of injuries. Even though they’re only disabling temporarily, you have to live with them and the consequences they have on your life.

Take whiplash as an example. This is usually a mild injury, but it can take moderate and acute forms as well. Severe (acute) cases can lead to chronic pain and the need for extensive physical therapy, surgery and other support.

If you have pain to the right or left of the center of the back of your neck, don’t assume it’s whiplash, though. You may have facet joint pain from whiplash. Facet joint pain is very similar to arthritis because the condition is caused by a degeneration of the joints between the spinal bones.

What causes facet joint damage and pain?

This condition can happen naturally as you age, but it can also be triggered by a serious car crash or other situation that results in an injury to your neck. Repetitive movements, poor posture and other spinal conditions can also result in this health concern.

How can facet joint pain be treated?

Treatment varies based on how severe the pain is and how your neck was injured. Some common treatments include:

  • Medication for pain and inflammation
  • Joint injections
  • Nerve ablations
  • Nerve blocks
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery to fuse the joints

All of these treatments have varied results, and you may need to go through a few before you find what works. It’s important that the driver who hit your vehicle is held accountable for the injuries you’re dealing with now, so you can focus on getting the treatments you need.