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Joint damage: Potentially life-changing injuries

A car crash has a shocking amount of force. Your body can only absorb so much without taking on damage. As a result, you may have suffered a facet joint injury.

This kind of joint injury is potentially life-changing because it has the potential to leave you in pain and to affect your mobility. There is a potential for disability.

What is a facet joint injury?

A facet joint injury is one that affects the spine. Thankfully, these problems rarely impact the nerves themselves and instead are problems with the strength and flexibility of the joints in the spinal column.

When a joint is inflamed, it may have the same symptoms as a herniated disc. It may also feel like a torn muscle in the lower back or feel like an abdominal problem. Since it mimics many other disorders and diseases, a doctor has to diagnose the facet joint injury by eliminating other potential diagnoses.

What are some symptoms of facet joint injuries?

Some of the telltale symptoms include acute episodes of pain that comes and go randomly, lower back pain that radiates into the buttocks and pain when leaning backwards. Many patients will have a loss of flexibility as a result of the injury.

Patients who are assigned to sit and rest may find that this actually makes a lower back's facet joint problem worse. The muscle spasm can be so severe that it fatigues the muscle. As a result, the muscles are more likely to seize up a second time and again in the future.

Can facet joint injuries be treated?

Yes, but they may need long-term care. You may need to pursue long-term physical therapy or other potential treatments, like cortisone shots, to make sure the joint stays strong and the muscles stay loose.

This injury can happen any time your body suffers a blow. If you're hurt, make sure you talk to a doctor about this type of injury, since it can mimic many others.

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