Many injuries suffered in vehicle accidents result when the back and/or neck are severely jolted, often from a rear impact. In the moments after a surprise car accident, your body produces huge amounts of adrenaline as it goes on high alert. This adrenaline can mask pain for a time, which often causes the affected driver or passenger to think that no serious injury was suffered as a result of the accident.
In the hours and days to come, however, many of those involved in a vehicle accident begin to experience constant pain, often as a result of a disc bulge. A bulging disc (also called a slipped disc) results when a piece of cartilage in the back or neck is jolted either to the side or backward due to some sort of trauma. Bulging discs occur often in the lower back or neck, and are frequently the result of a whiplash motion. Not even seatbelts can prevent a bulging disc from occurring in a vehicle accident. These misplaced discs put pressure on the spinal column, which results in chronic pain and sometimes an inability to move normally.
Cartilage is known as the shock absorber for the bones in the body. Along your spine, this cartilage is stacked one on top of the other and is held together by ligaments to separate the bones in your spinal cord, called vertebrae. These discs keep the spine supple and able to bend, as well as able to deliver constant messages to the brain from various parts of your body. All of these impulses travel up your spinal cord.
These discs in your spinal column also enable you to reach for objects, run, dive, climb and all sorts of other movements. You often do not realize how much your spine is involved in these common movements, but it is adjusting constantly to the twists and turns of your torso. In fact, almost every flex and extension that you attempt involves your spine.
When even just one of these cartilage pieces is moved and a disc slides out of its normal place, the back can become completely immobilized. Bed rest and pain relievers can fix some back pain, but if it persists, you probably have a bulging disc. Nerve pain is not touched by common pain relievers, and it persists throughout the day and night. That is an indicator of a bulging disc, as is pain that can shoot all the way down to the leg or foot. Tingling, numbness and weakness in the leg, ankle or foot are other symptoms of a bulging disc.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after a vehicle accident, consult a medical professional and get a proper diagnosis. Do not shrug off your injury due to some exaggerated sense of toughness. You might face whopping medical bills in months and years to come, as well as lost work time that could cost you dearly.
At the same time as you seek a doctor’s advice, contact a good car accident attorney to begin to assemble a legal case so that you can get the compensation that you will need. Bulging discs are “small” injuries that can lead to very large bills.
A medical professional can order an MRI to determine if you have a bulging disc. Such tests are quite expensive, which is why your contact with a sound car accident lawyer will prove to be very wise in the very near future.
An MRI will obtain a better image of your spine than a standard X-ray, and determine if there is injury to the nerves and how severe your bulge might be. If there is no nerve damage, a slight bulge can be treated through physical therapy, heat and ultrasound treatments, which will cause the pain to diminish over time and a fairly normal life to resume.
However, if a true disc bulge has occurred, then surgery will be required to partially or completely remove the disc. Many times in today’s advanced field of medical technology, a soft plastic manufactured disc will be inserted in the spot where the damaged one resided. Then begins the long process of rehabilitation to achieve near-normal movement, as your body acclimates itself to a plastic disc. Needless to say, all of these procedures can be quite expensive, another reason to get a gifted car accident attorney on your side.
Don’t let crippling pain from a bulging disc prevent you from seeking justice. Contact a trusted car accident lawyer to ease your stress and suffering as you seek relief from the chronic pain brought on by a bulging disc, a frequent consequence of a vehicle accident.