Have I Suffered a Herniated Disc in a Car Accident?
A motor vehicle accident can happen at any time. There are several common injuries that people suffer in a car accident. Even though accidents can vary markedly in terms of their scope and severity, even a minor accident can lead to major injuries. Some of the most common injuries that people suffer in car accidents include knee injuries, head injuries, and back injuries.
One of the most common back injuries that people suffer is a herniated disc. Have you suffered a herniated disc in a motor vehicle accident? There are several key signs and symptoms you may notice. Make sure you rely on a healthcare professional who can help you address back injuries following a motor vehicle accident.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
First, what is a herniated disc? The vertebrae in your back are separated by cushions called discs. These cushions are in place to give space to each individual vertebra. That way, you don't feel compressive forces on the nerves as they leave your back, and you don't have to worry about your vertebrae rubbing against each other. This type of friction can lead to a significant amount of inflammation.
If you have suffered a herniated disc, one of the cushions in between your vertebrae has ruptured. Then, the liquid inside of the disc starts to leak down your spinal column. Furthermore, the vertebrae may press on one or more of the nerves that they leave the back. This can lead to a significant amount of pain and discomfort. That is why you need to understand how these injuries happen in a car accident and some of the most common symptoms they cause.
Why Do Herniated Discs Happen in Car Accidents?
Herniated discs are common injuries in motor vehicle accidents. If the front of your car impacts another vehicle or object, the seat belt should restrain you; however, your torso might be flung forward while your hips and legs stay in place. Imagine your head, neck, and chest flying forward at high speed, causing your nose to touch your knees.
When this happens, you will flex your back quickly and harshly. This type of force places a tremendous amount of stress on your spinal column. As a result, you could suffer a herniated disc in your back. How might this injury present?
The Signs and Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Similar to other injuries you might suffer in a motor vehicle accident, the signs and symptoms of a herniated disc can vary depending on its location and how severe it is. The most common location for a herniated disc is between L3 and L4 or between L4 and L5. These discs are located in the lower region of your back. Some of the most common symptoms you might notice in a herniated disc include:
- Shooting Pains: One of the hallmark symptoms of a herniated disc is shooting, stabbing pains that travel from your back down your legs. This might feel like an electrical shock going from your back down one or both of your legs. This symptom develops because the nerve running from your back into your leg is getting pinched by one of the vertebrae.
- Trouble Sitting: You might also have trouble sitting. When you sit down, extra pressure is placed on the base of your spine. If you are missing a disc in this area, this will increase the pressure on the nerve, causing the pain to get worse. In contrast, if you do something to alleviate this pressure, such as standing up, you might feel the pain get better.
- Weakness: You might also feel weakness in your legs. Depending on the nerve that is pinched, you may lose some motor function. You might feel numbness in your leg, or you might have a difficult time taking the stairs. Sometimes, this is a delayed symptom, so you may not experience it immediately after a motor vehicle accident.
- Pins and Needles Sensations: You might also experience a pins and needles sensation in your lower back and leg. This is called paresthesia. This happens if there is a sensory nerve pinched in your spine as a travels down your leg.
The exact symptoms you will experience depend on the nerve that is compromised. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, you need to seek the advice of a healthcare professional immediately. The sooner this is treated, the faster you can recover.
How Is a Herniated Disc Treated?
There are multiple ways a herniated disc might be treated. A lot of people believe they require surgery to repair this issue. Even though surgery might be helpful, you might be taking unnecessary risks if there are other treatment options. A chiropractor can take a look at your back, diagnose a herniated disc, and make recommendations about how to treat the problem.
The biggest issue with a herniated disc is that added pressure could be placed on nerves as they leave the spinal column and travel throughout the rest of the body. The goal is to alleviate this pressure as quickly as possible, addressing the root cause of the concern.
For example, a chiropractor may recommend something called traction therapy. The goal of traction therapy is to increase the amount of space between the vertebrae, alleviating pressure on the nerves. This could be combined with other treatment options, such as adjustments and manipulations, to create a comprehensive treatment plan for a herniated disc.
You deserve to have a treatment plan that has been customized to meet your needs. That is exactly what you will get with a chiropractor.
Call Doctor Wagner Today To Make an Appointment
These are just a few of the most common signs and symptoms that you might notice following a motor vehicle accident. They might indicate that you have suffered a herniated disc. Even though you may think that this requires surgical repair, that is not always the case. Before you set foot in the operating room, you should talk to a chiropractor to learn more about your treatment options.
That is where we can help you. Dr. Wagner has a tremendous amount of experience helping people who have suffered a herniated disc in a motor vehicle accident. You might be able to restore your functionality and mobility without requiring surgery. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to make an appointment. We are always there to help you, and it would be our honor to help you recover from a herniated disc following a motor vehicle accident!