Home Blog Neck Pain and the Facet Joints According To Coast Chiropractic Centers Director, Dr. Tim Harcourt

Neck Pain and the Facet Joints According To Coast Chiropractic Centers Director, Dr. Tim Harcourt

Jul 31, 2021 -- Posted by : Dr.Harcourt

Neck pain is one of those conditions that virtually everyone has had at some point in time. The degree of how it can affect one’s life is highly variable—from minimal functional limitations to total disability. So where does neck pain come from and why are the “facet joints” so important?

The anatomy of vertebrae in the spine is quite unique. There are seven vertebrae that make up the cervical spine. The top vertebra in the neck is called the atlas (C1), which basically swivels around the axis (C2). The atlas and axis allow us to rotate our heads, such as when checking traffic or looking over our shoulders. The top two vertebrae (c1 and c2) are uniquely shaped, while the remaining cervical vertebrae (c3-7) are very similar in appearance with a vertebral body in the front and a bony ring with the spinous process on the back that protects the spinal cord.

Between each vertebral body is a spinal disk and the processes are connected to the processes of the vertebrae above and below by facet joints.

The facet joints are a major source of neck pain, and injuries to the facet joints are commonly referred to as “cervical facet syndrome.” Biomechanical studies show that the capsules that surround the facet joints have many nerve endings and can become highly strained when large amounts of force are applied to the body, such as during a motor vehicle collision.

When this occurs, the combination of inflammation and capsular deformation can lower the threshold in various pain-producing receptors in the facet joint. This results in persistent neck pain which can increase with normal movement.

There are many treatment approaches available for persistent neck pain arising from the facet joints, such as spinal manipulation and joint mobilization performed by a doctor of chiropractic.

Home-based self-care recommendations may include specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the cervical spine, nutritional advice, home cervical traction units, a cervical pillow, and cervical curve-retaining techniques.

So, if you have neck pain from a car accident in Fort Myers and you type in pain management near me, whiplash, or even car accident lawyer you may find Coast Chiropractic Centers with Dr. Timothy Harcourt, me, comes up. 

You may wonder, “Do I need an MRI scan of my neck or back.”

Also, if you feel arm or leg pain it may indicate things are getting worse and may indicate a bulge on the disc or worse yet a herniated disc in your neck and/or back. Shoulder pain is very common with whiplash and could require conservative treatment right away to avoid injections or worse yet, surgery.  A foggy brain may indicate a mild traumatic brain injury.  Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitates a visit to see a professional. 

Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at (239) 278-3344 and we will submit the bills to your auto carrier for payment.

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