Occasionally, our clients will tell us of their ongoing neck and back pain after a car accident. This type of pain is usually caused by whiplash or another type of high-impact trauma and can be long-lasting and very problematic. Cervical facet syndrome occurs when facet joints become inflamed and is usually the cause of chronic neck and back pain.

Cervical Facet Syndrome

Cervical facet syndrome causes neck, shoulder and upper back pain which is usually more intense in the morning hours and will sometimes improve over the course of the day. Neck stiffness, limited mobility, soreness, and headaches are symptoms of cervical facet syndrome. Luckily, there is some relief that can be provided. Radiofrequency Neurotomy can alleviate some of the symptoms of cervical facet syndrome.

How Radiofrequency Neurotomy Works

A licensed physician creates heat lesions in the nerves using a specialized radiofrequency needle. Over time, these heat lesions cause damage to the nerve that it can no longer send pain signals to the patient’s brain.

However, this type of treatment is not usually a long-term solution. While the treatment does provide temporary pain relief for the patient, the nerve cells are self-healing and will eventually regain signal to the brain and resume sending pain signals. The healing process is dependent upon a variety of situations so the length of relief of this type of treatment varies. The Mayo Clinic estimates that it takes 6-12 months for most nerve cells to recover but there’s no telling exactly the amount of nerve recovery time for each individual patient.

Radiofrequency Neurotomy is Not Typically a Long-Term Solution

While the benefit of pain relief for someone suffering from cervical facet syndrome is great, radiofrequency neurotomy does not fix the root of the problem. However, it is sometimes the best possible solution for someone suffering from chronic neck pain.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.