Facet syndrome, also called lumbar facet syndrome, is a common cause of persistent back and neck pain. It causes inflammation of the facet joints in a person’s spine and can lead to pain, soreness, stiffness and headaches. Normal wear and tear can cause it, though it also may be the result of trauma or overuse. A workplace injury or a job that requires repetitive movement of the back and spine could lead to a back injury.
Facet syndrome and its subsequent pain and treatment can cause workers to lose income and incur costly medical bills. Because of this, workers may be due benefits through workers’ compensation in Iowa. A workers’ compensation attorney in Des Moines can work with injured employees to prove a condition is work-related.
Symptoms of Facet Syndrome
This syndrome usually begins as just a back or neck ache. As the condition worsens, the pain will begin to occur more frequently and last longer. It may even begin to affect more than the initial joint, causing pain to spread. Symptoms may include:
- persistent tenderness in an area of the spine;
- decreased flexibility;
- pain that worsens in the beginning and end of the day;
- pain in the lower back that radiates to the bottom, pelvis and thighs;
- neck pain that spreads to the shoulders, head or arms;
- headaches, especially at the base of the skull;
- ringing in the ears;
- difficulty bending or walking;
- weakness or numbness in the extremities; and
- pain worsened by sitting.
Back and neck pain can affect many areas of life adversely. Anyone who is suffering from these symptoms or other back-related issues should seek medical attention immediately before the condition worsens. If related to a back injury from work in Iowa, workers’ compensation attorneys in Des Moines may assist workers in recovering costs for medical treatment and disability benefits.
Facet Syndrome Treatment
Treatment depends on the severity and persistence of the patient’s pain. Typically, in less severe cases, pain can be managed or lessened with the use of anti-inflammatory and NSAID medications.
When those don’t work, doctors may recommend these other treatments for facet syndrome:
- exercise, stretching and physical therapy;
- heat wraps or hot baths;
- cold packs;
- improved posture;
- weight loss;
- pain medications;
- chiropractic care; or
- neck braces.
In some cases, doctors may recommend what’s called a facet rhizotomy. During this procedure, some nerve endings in the joints are destroyed to prevent pain from recurring. When the condition is severe or persistent, bone fusion surgery may also be an option.
Work Comp Help in Iowa from a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Des Moines
Facet syndrome comes with high costs. There are expensive medical bills to cover, lost wages, and, of course, the constant physical pain and agony of the condition itself. When caused by a back injury from work, sufferers may be able to seek compensation for these costs and losses through workers’ compensation in Iowa. Workers’ compensation attorneys in Des Moines can help file an initial claim or handle a dispute after denial of a claim involving a back injury from work or facet syndrome.