There are many kinds of neck, back, and spinal cord injuries a person can suffer after a car accident in Winter Haven, Florida. One of the most serious injuries are those to the facet joints of the vertebrae. These injuries are commonly associated with the medical condition known as whiplash syndrome, and they can cause long-term problems.
If you’ve suffered whiplash or another type of facet joint injury in Florida that resulted from an auto accident caused by the negligent actions of another, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages resulting from the accident. The first step to obtaining this compensation is speaking with a Winter Haven car accident lawyer who has experience in representing claims involving the facet joints and other neck, spine, and back injuries.
What Are the Facet Joints?
Facet joints are located behind and between the vertebrae in your neck and back. There are two facet joints between each pair of vertebrae, one on each side. They link each vertebra to the one directly above and below. Each facet joint is innervated by the recurrent meningeal nerves.
Facet joints are responsible for the spine’s stability and flexibility. The function of the facet joints is to guide and control the movement of the spine’s vertebrae. They help protect the vertebrae from anterior shear forces, as well as excessive rotation and flexing.
Symptoms and Treatment for Facet Joint Injuries
The components of the facet joints can become damaged through disease or trauma. Traumatic facet joint injuries can be caused by a fall accident, an impact while playing contact sports like football, physical abuse, or as the result of a car accident.
Symptoms that you may have damaged your facet joints in an accident include:
- Neck, shoulder, and upper back pain
- Neck and back muscle spasms
- Stiffness in the neck, upper back, and shoulders
- Pain or difficulties when turning or tilting your head
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulders, upper arms, and upper and lower back
- Difficulties maintaining posture and standing up straight or standing up from a sitting position.
- Pain or difficulties when bending, twisting, or stretching
- Pain radiating down the back and through the buttocks and legs
Minor facet joint injuries generally resolve themselves. Over-the-counter and prescription medications, rest, and physical therapy are the most common treatments for minor facet joint injuries.
Injuries that result in more severe damage to the nerves and other structures of the facet joints may require more aggressive treatment. Surgery may be needed if the joints have become dislocated or damaged. Muscle relaxants, lidocaine injections, and radiofrequency ablation procedures may be required to manage pain caused by damaged nerves.
Whiplash Facet Joint Injuries Symptoms
Whiplash facet joint injuries often result from rear-end collisions. During impact, the body is suddenly and violently thrown forward and then back again. The stresses placed on the back and neck by the force of impact are too great for the bones and soft tissues (ligaments, facet joints, muscles) to bear. As a result, they can become severely damaged.
It may take days for the symptoms of a whiplash facet joint injury to manifest themselves. Even though you may feel fine after your accident, it’s still important to seek medical attention after being involved in a car accident. The sooner any facet joint-related injuries are diagnosed, the sooner you can get the treatment you need.
Why It’s Important to Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident
The fact that it may take days before you start to feel the effects of a facet joint or other neck and back injury is one of the reasons why we advise our clients to never say they “feel fine” after an accident and always seek medical treatment. Saying that you feel fine after an accident could cost you big if you file a personal injury claim.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Central Florida, it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt. The next thing to do is contact an experienced Winter Haven personal injury attorney to ensure you get the most for any damages you experience as a result of your accident. Damages can include ongoing medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Winter Haven Car Accident Lawyer Tania Rivas Will Get You the Compensation You Deserve for Your Facet Joint Injuries
Tania Rivas is an experienced Winter Haven car accident lawyer who has represented clients who have been injured in car accidents all over Central Florida. She has earned millions of dollars in settlements for her clients, including $425,000 for a Lutz, FL woman who suffered severe neck injuries as a result of a rear-end collision.
If you’re unable to work and are being buried in medical bills after being injured in an accident, Florida state law gives you the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. The first step in collecting these damages is to contact Tania Rivas at Rivas Law Group online or at (877) 299-5539.