In many cases, neck and back pain experienced by workers is a result of lumbar facet syndrome.
Neck and back pain is a common complaint among workers. In many cases, this pain is a result of facet syndrome or lumbar facet syndrome. The condition is characterized by the inflammation of the facet joints in the spine, and cause pain, stiffness, soreness, and headaches. It can be caused by normal wear and tear, or by overuse or trauma. Jobs that require repetitive movement of the back and spine could cause a back injury that leads to work-related facet syndrome. In this post, our Kansas City Workers Comp Lawyers will discuss this syndrome, and the workers’ comp benefits available to affected workers.
Symptoms of Facet Syndrome
Facet syndrome manifests itself as pain in the neck and back. As the condition worsens, the pain intensifies, occurs more frequently, and lasts longer. The condition may affect other joints as well, and cause the pain to spread. Symptoms of facet syndrome include:
- persistent tenderness in a particular area of the spine
- pain that worsens by sitting
- decreased flexibility
- pain in the lower back that radiates to the pelvis, thighs, and bottom
- pain that becomes worse in the beginning and end of the day
- headaches, especially at the base of the skull
- neck pain that spreads to the shoulders, arms, and head
- difficulty bending or walking
- ringing in the ears
- weakness or numbness in the extremities
Often the back and neck pain is quite intense and can affect not only work but also the normal life of the worker. If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention. Any delay in treatment can cause the condition to worsen.
Treatment for Facet Syndrome
There are various treatments available for facet treatment. Doctors will generally choose the best course of treatment based on the severity and persistence of the worker’s pain. In less severe cases, NSAID and anti-inflammatory medications are used to manage the pain. If these medications do not work, doctors may recommend other treatments including:
- physical therapy, exercise, stretching
- pain medications
- improved posture
- cold packs
- heat wraps or hot baths
- weight loss
- neck braces
- chiropractic care
In some cases, the worker may have to undergo a procedure known as facet rhizotomy. During the procedure, the surgeon will destroy some nerve endings in the facet joint to prevent pain from occurring. However, when the condition is persistent or severe, bone fusion surgery may be the only effective solution.
Getting Workers Compensation for Facet Syndrome
Facet syndrome causes a lot of pain, discomfort, loss of productivity, and comes with high costs. The worker may be faced with huge medical bills and lost wages. If the condition is a result of a work-related injury or the repetitive nature of the job, the worker may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. To learn more about your legal rights as an injured Missouri worker, contact a Kansas City workers compensation attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann by calling (816) 399-3706.