What is a herniated disc?
When there is a herniation in a lumbar disc, the nerves can be affected, resulting in radiating discomfort. A disc is a fluid-filled circular structure located between your vertebrae in the spine. Intervertebral discs serve as cushions in your spine. A disc’s role is to absorb stress from the spine and to protect it from injuries.
An extensive network of nerves surrounds the spine, transmitting sensations of numbness and pain throughout the entire body. Since they are so close to the spine and nerves, healthy discs are vital for your entire nervous system. As you move from your spinal column to the rest of your body, you utilize nerves to communicate with the rest of your body. It is normal for properly constructed discs not to contact or pinch adjacent nerves. Herniation, on the other hand, is the result of pressure being forced out of the disc.
Can a car accident cause herniated discs?
After a car accident, a herniated disc occurs when the force of the crash causes one of your vertebrae (bones of the spine) to push into your spinal canal, where it may compress, put pressure on, or otherwise irritate your spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that carries messages from your brain to various parts of your body.
What are other causes of herniated discs?
Various factors can lead to a herniated disc, but the bottom line is that your intervertebral disc (the cushion between your vertebrae) bulges or ruptures. This disc takes up more space than it should, causing you a great deal of pain.
Wear and Tear on the Spine
Spinal strain and daily wear and tear are often responsible for herniated disc pain. Degeneration is another term for this.
The intervertebral discs in our back support and distribute our weight, and they are designed to absorb movement-induced trauma (such as walking, twisting, and bending). Due to the fact that our discs facilitate our movement so well, they may wear out over time.
A disc may bulge or herniate because the annulus fibrous (outer layer) begins to deteriorate, allowing the nucleus pulposus (inner jelly-like layer) to push through.
Herniated discs may result from injuries. As an example, in an automobile accident, a disc may herniate due to the jerking action of the rapid impact, which exposes the disc to too much pressure.
Herniation of a disc can also occur by incorrectly lifting a heavy object or twisting excessively.
A Combination of Degeneration and Injury
Herniated discs occur most often following trauma to the intervertebral disc, or from wear and tear (degeneration).
It may be the case that your disc has become so weak that even a seemingly insignificant incident can lead to a herniated disc. Sneezing can result in herniating a disc (it does happen). When a sneeze occurs, it may not seem that it can cause harm, but if you are already suffering from weakened discs, sneezing can trigger herniation.
How to Take Care of a Herniated Disc From a Car Accident
You have small discs cushioning the bones that make up your spine in your back. Herniates (bulges) are common after discs are injured. An injured or degenerative disc can cause a herniated disc as well as normal wearing and tear with age. Herniated discs can cause leg pain and numbness (sciatica) as well as back pain if they press on a nerve.
Herniated discs may be recuperated with rest, medication, and exercise. A surgical procedure may be needed in some situation
Call 911 if the person has a slipped disk who loses bladder or bowel control, has weakness in the arms or legs, and has numbness in the inner, upper part of the thighs.
Step 1: Treat the pain
Adjusting your posture or changing your position may relieve immediate discomfort. Some people find it quite comfortable to lie on their backs with their feet up on a chair and their knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
For no more than 20 minutes at a time, apply a cold compress several times a day.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be given (including Motrin, Aleve, Advil, and Naprosyn).
Step 2: Let the patient rest
You should not rest for more than a day or two. Once you’ve recovered, it is critical to get back into activity sooner rather than later. However, lifting and pushing should be avoided.
Step 3: Consult with your doctor
An assessment should be conducted on all slipped disks.
Step 4. Follow up treatments
Injections of pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medications, acupuncture, or physical therapy may be recommended by the health care provider. Six weeks is generally the maximum time it takes people to notice improvements. The condition of the back may necessitate back surgery.
3 Symptoms of a Herniated Disc You Should Look Out For
You may experience discomfort in your lower back and/or leg if a disc in your lower spine bulges or tears. Here are three distinct indicators of a herniated or bulging disc to assist you in determining the underlying cause of your lower back pain:
Pain while sitting
It is estimated that sitting provides a great deal of strain to your lower spinal discs. When you sit, the pain you experience in your lower back may worsen as your bulging or herniated disc becomes more apparent.
Pain radiating down your leg (sciatica)
Herniated or bulging discs in the lower back usually occurs at or near the nerve roots, which is a posterior (back) or lateral (side) region. One or both of the two techniques listed below can impact the root of these nerves when a disc is herniated.
Direct compression. As the spinal nerve root exits the spinal canal, a bulging disc or leaking inner contents pressure the nerve.
Chemical irritation. Inflammation and irritation may occur in the nerve root area when chemical irritants are leaked out of a herniated disc.
This interferes with the damaged nerve roots’ ability to function, and you feel burning pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling along the front and/or back of your thigh, leg, and/or foot. These symptoms are referred to as sciatica. A person with sciatica typically experiences symptoms in one leg at a time.
Specific activities that aggravate pain
Your lower back pain and/or sciatica may worsen when you perform certain activities, such as bending forward/down, lifting a heavy object, pushing or pulling a heavy object, coughing, and sneezing.
Herniated discs of the lumbar spine often cause rapid onset of pain. Pain is often caused by a combination of factors, such as an injury or traumatic event, rather than a single, identifiable injury. However, the pain seems to have come out of nowhere.
For the most part, this illness is not life-threatening, though it can be physically painful. Almost 90% of people who suffer from acute disc herniation do not report any pain within six weeks, even without medical intervention.
Different Treatment Options For Herniated Discs From Car Accidents
Despite the fact that you should seek medical attention after a disc herniation, there are a number of things you can do at home to support your treatment. Minor slipped discs are usually accompanied by inflammation surrounding the affected area. Heat and ice therapy can be used early on to reduce inflammation and provide relief.
Additionally, your doctor may recommend avoiding specific sleeping positions, sitting positions, and standing positions so that the affected area does not experience unnecessary strain. It can also help you avoid future spine surgery by maintaining a healthy posture.
With the help of exercises, massages, and moderate stretches, a physical therapist can treat disc herniations by gradually releasing pressure on the problem area and improving blood flow and nerve communication to the injured area.
When a herniated disc pushes onto a nerve, signals are sent to other parts of the body causing pain. It is possible to identify strategies to reduce nerve and spinal pressure while developing, sustaining, and maintaining proper nerve pressure with physical therapy.
In order to encourage proper communication from the brain to the rest of the body, chiropractors are trained to deal with the spine and the neural system that lies within it by removing spinal misalignments that hinder this communication. When a disc herniates, it means there’s something wrong, which inhibits the body from communicating and even healing itself.
The goal of chiropractic treatment is to relieve pain caused by disc damage and realign the vertebrae in a safe and efficient manner. The regular use of chiropractic treatment can assist your spine and body in recovering from the inside out, potentially saving you from minimally invasive spine surgery.
Interventional Spine Treatment
Minimally invasive spine surgery techniques can be used by neurosurgeons to treat disc herniation problems in an outpatient environment. Intervening in spinal disorders has three primary goals: pain reduction, healing, and avoiding spinal surgery.
It may be necessary to combine treatments in more severe disc herniations to alleviate discomfort and facilitate healing. Spine interventional treatments include epidural steroid injections, which can relieve pain in the arms and legs as well as in the spine when a ruptured disc impairs nerves.
Surgery for the spine is a major operation, and most medical professionals prefer more conservative techniques before resorting to surgical methods. Occasionally, your doctor may advise surgery if more conservative multimodal therapies are insufficient.
For a herniated disc patient, a combination of therapeutic techniques can reduce pain and promote healing the most. Consider a medical practice where you can receive comprehensive and holistic healing from orthopedic doctors, neurologists, physical therapists, and chiropractors.
How much does it usually cost to treat a herniated disc?
Surgical procedures associated with herniated discs that are not covered by insurance typically cost about $20,000 to $50,000, inclusive of the surgeon’s charge, the anesthesiologist’s charge, and the facility’s charge. There are two types of discectomy procedures: minimally invasive outpatient microdiscectomy and an open discectomy requiring inpatient hospitalization.
In most cases, health insurance will cover herniated disc surgery when it is ordered by a doctor. As long as the deductible has been met, the typical out-of-pocket cost for an insured patient is 10% to 40% of the treatment, for a total of around $2,000 up to the yearly out-of-pocket limit.
When individuals without health insurance undergo spinal fusion surgery to repair problems such as slipped vertebrae or other spinal instability, the price can range from $80,000 to $150,000. It is usually more expensive to do a surgery that uses titanium implants instead of a donor’s bone. In most cases, the operation will cost you around $5,000, depending on your insurance coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Herniated Disc From Car Accidents
Where can you get a herniated disc?
In the lower back, mid-back (thoracic), or neck (cervical), you may develop a herniated disc. You’re likely to see “axial” discomfort in your medical records or on a diagnosis report (such as an MRI or CT scan).
Axial discomfort is only felt in the neck and back.
How is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed and Treated?
Physicians will examine you for symptoms such as discomfort, muscle weakness, abnormal reflexes, loss of reflexes in the extremities, sensory loss, and balance issues. A doctor may also recommend diagnostic tests to rule out other problems and confirm the presence of a herniated disc.
In a personal injury case, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be incredibly helpful in identifying herniated discs and demonstrating damages. The type and severity of a herniated disc dictate the kind of treatment recommended by medical professionals. Herniated discs can be treated in several ways, including:
- NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that reduce pain and swelling
- For severe pain, prescription pain medications are available
- Relaxants for muscles
- Nerve root injections or epidural steroid injections
- Exercises and physical therapy
Surgery is recommended when bowel or bladder function is lost, when walking or standing is difficult, or when chronic symptoms of discomfort continue for months after conventional treatment.
Diagnosing a herniated disc correctly is the first step to a successful treatment.
Long-term effects of a herniated disc
A car accident that results in a herniated disc may require you to have additional care at home, either temporarily or permanently. If you are unable to drive and need to find additional funds for physiotherapy, you may have to rely on public transportation.
Following a collision, pieces of the spinal structure (the disc) that separates the bones, or the vertebrae, can move out of place. The dislodged disc will almost certainly cause you severe pain because it can press against your spinal nerves. Car accidents can cause herniated discs to cause severe pain in the neck, back, legs, and even hands.
Those who sustain spinal cord or spinal injuries in a car wreck might experience long-term consequences. Further, some people manifest herniated disc symptoms following a single minor car accident. If you have been in a car accident and have been diagnosed with any of the herniated disc symptoms listed below, we recommend contacting Stridewell to discuss your treatment plan.
- Having back pain:
- Injuries caused by slipped or herniated discs are characterized by severe back pain
- The most common herniated disc symptoms are lower back pain and leg pain
- The lower two vertebrae of your spinal column are more susceptible to herniation in RTAs
- Disrupted or damaged discs cause sharp pains by putting pressure on the sciatic nerve
- Having numbness in the hands, legs, or back:
- Numbness can be a symptom of herniated discs
- The effects of injuries, such as difficulty walking, can make doing day-to-day tasks difficult
What is a Claim Involving a Herniated Disc Worth?
There may be difficulties determining the value of a herniated disc claim. There are many factors that affect the value of a herniated disc claim. An injured cervical herniated disc claim is valued by taking into account the following primary components:
- Accident severity;
- What sort of injury it was and how severe it was;
- What type of treatment will be needed for herniated discs;
- Medical history and age of the victim;
- The prognosis provided by the doctors;
- Pain and suffering, as well as non-economic damages (loss of enjoyment of life);
- The amount of insurance coverage available and who was at fault for the accident.
Herniated discs may also be affected by a pre-existing condition that may affect your injury claim. An injury claim involving a herniated disc or injuries from an automobile accident is frequently dismissed or undervalued by insurance companies because of preexisting conditions.
It may be argued that because you have a certain medical condition, are elderly, or have had a prior cervical spine injury, you should receive less compensation compared to someone who does not have any of these variables involved in your claim.
What is the average payout for a herniated disc?
You may be eligible for compensation if your herniated disc causes you severe injuries as well as an extended period of recovery. For herniated discs, the average settlement is $360,000, and the median range is $65,000.
Disc herniation is one of the most common permanent injuries in automobile accidents or workplace accidents. Legal sanctions could be imposed on those responsible, including the at-fault driver.
The insurance coverage provided by the employer offers workers’ compensation benefits to individuals who are injured at work. Symptoms of compression can be dangerous, necessitating medical treatment or surgical intervention.
Call Stridewell to help you take care of your herniated disc from a car accident
For concerns regarding a herniated disc, call a trusted injury clinic. You can rest assured that the experienced team of Stridewell will provide you with a precise diagnosis by utilizing the latest imaging technology, combined with their extensive knowledge for a personalized treatment plan.