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Back Injury & Football

May 13 2008 | Articles

Back Injury & Football

 

Facet Syndrome Injury (Back Injury) Introduction

A not so common pain in the back, Facet Syndrome is a severe short episode of joint pain caused by an abrupt movement traumatizing the joint. It is naturally secondary to chronic changes in the joint that is often accompanied by progressive diseases of the disc.

The facet joints are located on either side of the spinal column. Each vertebra has a bony prominence on each side; this forms a facet joint.
Excessive abrupt movements traumatize the joints which may cause severe episodes of back pain.

Chronic type of facet joint pain does not go away in a few days. It is often accompanied with degeneration within the joints causing problems that resembles arthritis.

How do we know its Facet Syndrome?

A typical covert sign of Facet Syndrome is pain on one side of the spine that generally worsens by bending towards the affected side or by stretching the back. Stiffness of the back in the morning is another clue.

In cases where irritation of the nerve root is present, there would be Sciatica. This is a condition where pain is felt at the buttocks, the groin or the hamstring region. This situation worsens by prolonged sitting or standing. The diagnosis of this condition is done by examination and confirmed by an X-ray of the spine, MRI or CT scan.

Treating Facet Syndrome

In severe attacks, rest is advised along with Non- Steroidal Anti- Inflammatory Drugs and a postural correction back support is recommended. In relieving pain and muscle stiffness, a warm compress can be applied for no more than fifteen minutes per application.

In problems lasting more than a week, limitation of movement is observed. The Physiotherapist may do some joint manipulation by controlling a thrust into spinal rotation. This opens the facet joints and disrupts early scar tissue that limits movement. This is followed subsequently by a warm compress and massage. A back brace may also be worn for back support.

How do we prevent Facet Syndrome?

The number one prevention is developing a good posture. The player should practice exercises than maintain a stronger spine muscles. A lumbar roll at the bottom of the back or a seat support will aid while sitting.

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