Auto Accidents and Herniated Discs

X-ray of a person getting into a car accident and what is being injured during the accident

Herniated Disc Injuries Resulting From Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents can result in many different types of serious injuries, and these injuries can have a significant impact on all aspects of your life. One type of injury that you can suffer in a major vehicle crash is a herniated disc injury. While herniated disc injuries can occur in almost any type of accident, rear-end collisions are the most common cause of herniated disc injuries.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc also called a slipped disc or ruptured disc is a medical condition that involves the bulging of your vertebral discs, which in turn cause pressure on the nerves around it. This condition occurs when pressure from the vertebrae above and below forces some or all of the nucleus pulpous through a weakened or torn part of the annulus. Herniated discs are often extremely painful, with the epicenter of the pain focused in the arm or leg, depending on the exact location of the herniation.

If you have a herniated disc in your lower back, you will likely feel radiating pain in your thighs and buttocks. If you have a herniated disc in your upper back region, you will likely feel pain in your arms and shoulders. You may also have other symptoms, including tingling, numbness, and muscular weakness.

Herniated Disc Symptoms

Herniated discs often cause very mild symptoms or even no symptoms. If they do produce symptoms, these can include:

  • Tingling and/or numbness in the feet and legs
  • Radiating pain in the buttocks, legs, and feet (called sciatica)
  • Muscle weakness

Common symptoms of a herniated disc in the neck region may include:

  • Radiating pain around the shoulder, arm, hands, and fingers
  • Pain near or over the shoulder blade
  • Pain around the neck, especially in the back and on the sides
  • Spasms in the neck

If you should develop any of these symptoms after a car accident, it is of utmost importance that you tell your doctor right away. Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and ask about your medical history, and possibly perform a neurological exam to test your muscle reflexes and muscle strength. Your doctor may also request other diagnostic tests in order to determine if you do, in fact, have a herniated disc. These tests may include:

  • X-ray
  • MRI or CT scan
  • Myelogram
  • EMG

Herniated Disc Treatment

Most people suffering from herniated discs respond well to conservative treatments within about six weeks, and they are usually able to return to most of their normal activities. However, some will continue to suffer from severe pain and may require more aggressive procedures, which may include:

  • Surgery
  • Spinal injections
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Laminectomy

If left untreated, herniated discs may lead to serious issues like chronic back or leg pain and loss of control or sensation in the legs or feet.

Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles

If you have been in a motor vehicle accident and fear you may have a herniated disc, as a result, call us at (888) 523-1698 today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.