As we grow older, the discs in our spine become less flexible; therefore, the risk of injury increases. Herniated discs can occur in any area of the spine but they are more likely to occur in the neck and lower back. Individuals between the ages of 30-40 are more vulnerable to this injury. This type of neck and back injury commonly occurs when a person falls from a high place, or if he lifts a heavy object improperly, or if has been involved in a car accident.
Herniated disc injury can be extremely painful and also very annoying. No individual deserves to suffer from such pain and discomfort: however, if you are suffering from this type of neck and back injury because you recently got involved in a car wreck, you need to know more about this condition and what to do about it.
How Does A Car Accident Cause Herniated Disc?
The first thing you need to understand is what a spinal disc is. The spinal disc is the cushion between each vertebrae of the spinal cord. It absorbs the shock that the spinal cord and vertebrae take in every single thing we do. Without these discs, the vertebrae will always be rubbing against each other which would cause a huge amount of pain, discomfort, and wear on the spinal column.
When the disc is herniated, the soft material inside the spinal disc goes out the outer lining of the cartilage. Typically, there should be a space in between the discs and the spinal column; however, if when the herniated disc compresses on a spinal nerve, it will result in pain, weakness, and numbness. With this neck and back injury:
- The disc will move out of place or break open due to injury or strain. If this occurs, you will feel pressure on your spinal nerves.
- The lower area of the spine is the common place for a slipped disk. The neck discs can also be affected. But the upper-to-mid-back discs are rarely affected.
This condition usually occurs in a vehicular accident. When a car accident occurs, it will put too much stress on the spinal column which can result in slipped disc. The disc structure comes through the spinal channel and press against the nerves in the spine. According to the personal injury attorneys at the California-based Bob M. Cohen & Associates, this type of injury can cause severe pain and may require therapy or surgery to relieve pain and symptoms.
Symptoms Of Herniated Disc Injury
- If the herniated disc is in your lower back, you will feel sharp pain in one area of your leg or hip. You might also feel numbness in other parts of your body. You might also feel pain or numbness at the back of your calf or on your sole.
- If the herniated disc is in your neck, you may find it painful to move your neck. You will also feel deep pain near your shoulder blade. The pain may move to the forearm, upper arm, or your fingers.
You need to understand that symptoms of herniated disc are not immediately noticeable right after the car accident. You may notice pain that starts slowly; however, you should not dismiss this pain because it can get worse. You might experience pain when you are:
- Standing or sitting for long periods
- When sneezing, laughing, or coughing
- When you are walking long distances or when you are bending backward
- You have a hard time standing on your toes or you can’t stand on one side.
Do not make the common mistake of taking the pain for granted. This type of neck and back injury can become worse over time leading to chronic pain, lost productivity, and inability to work. If you are a car accident victim, immediately seek medical attention and look for a credible injury lawyer to file a claim for damages.
The author, Kris Hopkins, is a healthcare professional. In her line of work, she has treated patients with herniated discs who were under a lot of pain. In this article, she aims to raise awareness regarding this neck and back injury.