If you’ve been involved in an auto accident and have back or neck pain, you may be wondering if the cause may be a herniated disc. It is quite possible. Herniated discs caused by car accidents are more common than many people think, even in what may be considered minor accidents. The first thing to do is consult a doctor. Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), doctors can actually see if any of the discs in your spine have been herniated. MRI tests are not cheap—but they are necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. Insurance company settlement amounts for herniated discs depend on what the insurance company thinks they can offer you.
Slipped disc injuries from a car accident: Liability & settlements Payouts depend on medical bills, lost wages, lawyer quality, & more. Lawyer up if facing more than $5,000 in expenses.
Three types of herniated discs
1. Cervical herniated disc
Cervical disc hernias pertain to the neck region and irritate nerves in specific levels of the upper spine, such as the C5 to C6 vertebrae. A typical cervical disc hernia involves pain in the arm and, often, tingling and numbness of the fingers.
2. Lumbar herniated disc
Lumbar disc hernias pertain to the lower back region and typically irritate nerves that cross a specific level of the spine, such as the L4 to L5 vertebrae. Leg pain from a lumbar disc hernia usually runs from below the knee to the foot and includes tingling and numbness.
3. Thoracic herniated disc
Thoracic disc hernias pertain to the upper back and are quite rare. These hernias can cause pain in the chest and upper back regions, as well as in the arms. Thoracic disc hernias are also notoriously difficult to correct, due to many organs sitting directly in front of these discs.
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc occurs when one of the fibrous discs that cushions your spinal vertebrae is pushed out from its place in between two vertebrae. The degree to which it protrudes varies, but when it comes out of its place between the vertebrae and pushes against a nerve, it really causes problems.
Even seemingly minor accidents can result in a herniated disc. For instance, being hit from behind at 10 mph can cause the head to rapidly flop backward and forward, causing a portion of a spinal disc to protrude out.
If you have been in an auto accident and are now experiencing pain in your leg, arm, or back, or have numbness or tingling in any of your limbs, there is a good chance it may be due to a herniated disc in your spine.
Neck or back pain after an accident: don’t ignore it!
The trouble with disc problems is that people who have been in auto accidents often dismiss neck and back pains, thinking they’ll go away on their own. Although many pains do disappear, those caused by a dislodged disc rarely ever go away on their own.
Herniated disc treatments can range from regular physical therapy sessions to, in the most extreme cases, disc removal and spinal fusion surgeries. Fortunately, surgery is rarely needed. It’s a good idea to avoid any radical surgery unless the pain is so extreme as to be debilitating and it’s absolutely necessary. However, you cannot live your life in pain, so we recommend getting treatment as soon as possible—which is typically physical therapy and whatever medications your doctors recommend. Then call Warshafsky's team of car and truck accident lawyers to receive proper financial compensation for your injuries.
Other injuries and conditions auto accidents can cause:
- Bulging disc
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lower back pain
- Memory loss
- Nerve damage
- Pinched nerve
- Rotator cuff tear
- Spinal stenosis