It is not uncommon for people injured in car accidents to suffer from herniated discs, which are personal injuries to the spine that can cause intense pain. Spinal discs are like little pillows that are set between each vertebra in your spine. These discs are very important because they help absorb shock as you move about in your everyday life. It might help to think about spinal discs like jelly doughnuts, since they have a shell-type barrier that covers a liquid substance. Physical trauma, like the kind suffered during a car accident, can cause the disc to rupture and let the “jelly” ooze out of it. At this point, it is not uncommon for the disc to shift and hit a nerve in the spinal column. This is called a herniated disc, and the more pressure it puts on a spinal nerve, the more painful it is.
However, the pain you feel as a result of a herniated disc may not be located in the back—it can “radiate” to other parts of the body, depending on the particular disc that has been impacted. It is also common to have numbness running down the buttocks through the back of the thigh and into the foot when the damage is in the lower back.
When a nerve is pinched in such a way that it causes this kind of “radicular” pain, many patients feel as if bouts of pain are shooting through the body to one specific area. Depending on the location of the herniated disc in question, this pain can be located in the leg, the arm, or other places.
Unfortunately, emergency room doctors usually do not identify a patient’s herniated disc right after an accident. Because spinal discs cannot be seen on X-rays, you will need to have a CT scan or MRI before your doctor can diagnose you accurately. However, while doctors are able to tell if a patient has a herniated disc, they are not able to diagnose the pain level that a particular patient is suffering. Due to all of the factors involved in how people perceive pain, there is no exact relationship between how a herniated disc looks and how it feels.
If you or a loved one has experienced herniated disc pain or personal injuries, you may have legal grounds to seek compensation. Talk to a personal injury lawyer that is committed to helping clients who have suffered herniated disc pain or personal injuries. Don’t delay! Call Clay now! We provide an initial consultation FREE of charge to you regardless of whether you retain our services.