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Herniated Disc from Automobile Collisions

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Automobile collisions have the potential to cause hundreds of injuries. One of the more severe categories of injuries however are those relating to the spine. A herniated disc is a common condition where the pads between vertebrae move out of position. Also known as “slipped” or “ruptured” discs, these injuries can be extremely painful consequences of a car accident.

How a Disc Herniates

The spine has 33 stacked small bones (called vertebrae) which are separated by flexible cushions called “intervertebral discs“. Each disc has a gel-like center surrounded by an outer ring that is more flexible. The discs perform important functions like providing shock absorption between vertebrae and allowing our bodies to have a wide range of motion.

A traumatic injury sustained in a wreck can put so much pressure on the back that the disc herniates, or moves out of place. As a result, the gel-like center of the disk leaks out from between the vertebrae. The fluid released into the spinal canal irritates spinal nerves and the pressure of the disc in the wrong place causes swelling. The experience can be extremely painful and traumatic to the victim.

Symptoms and Treatment

Most frequently, a herniated disc will occur in the lower back, but the entire spine is vulnerable. Some disc injuries are completely asymptomatic, but most sufferers report the following:

  • Leg pain – A pinching or burning sensation down the nerves of the leg, calves or buttocks.
  • Numbness – Loss of feeling due to pressure from the herniated disc on related nerves
  • Weakness – Inability to move the spine, bend, or lift everyday items

Treatment options for a herniated disc depend on the location and severity of the injury, but the good news is most treatment is nonsurgical. Generally, patients will heal on their own in a span of up to 4 months. A doctor may recommend pain relief medication or exercises to cope with inflammation and nerve pain.

Car Accidents and Disc Trauma

Spinal injuries are well-represented in victims of vehicle collisions. The force of a wreck puts an inordinate amount of trauma on the body. Survivors may notice anything from low level pain for a number of weeks, to permanent, life-altering injuries.

Comparative to other spinal injuries, herniated discs are not considered as life-threatening as others. However, victims experiencing intense pain may entitle them to compensation. Especially if these injuries are the result of a negligent driver’s actions.

Herniated Disc Personal Injury Attorneys

For a legal team you can trust, contact the experienced attorneys at Maginnis Howard. Our results speak for themselves, and our clients are our number one priority. Reach us by phone at (919) 526-0450, by email, or through our contact page.