A herniated disc is a condition known by many names including slipped disc, ruptured disc, herniated cervical disc, herniated lumbar disc, herniated nucleus pulposus, and reticulopathy. A herniated disc occurs when some or all of the soft inner portion of an intervertebral disc is forced through the outer edge of the disc. A herniated disc can result in neck pain, arm pain, upper back pain, lower back pain, and/or leg pain caused by irritation to the nerve root. A herniated disc can be classified as a neck injury or a back injury.
Intervertebral discs are the soft gelatinous pads found between the hard bones of the spinal column. These discs allow for spinal movement and protect against shock from daily activities as well as traumatic events. Disks in the lumber and the cervical spine consist of a thick outer ring of cartilage and an inner gel-like ring, akin to a jelly donut. When a disc is ruptured or herniated, that inner layer pushes out through the outer layer, often pinching spinal nerves, which can cause pain in the neck, back, and/or limbs.
If your herniated disc is the result of an accident caused by another party, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injury and suffering. Sudden pressure, which can occur in a vehicle accident, as the result of a fall, or during a work accident, can cause a herniated disc. Repetitive stress, due to work activities or other strenuous actions, can also increase the risk for suffering a herniated disc. Improper lifting, excessive body weight putting pressure on the discs, and smoking are additional risk factors for a herniated disc.
If your herniated disc is the result of an accident or workplace injury, please contact us to speak with a qualified attorney who can investigate your claim to determine liability and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Herniated lumbar disc symptoms
- Lower back pain: Approximately 80 percent of all adults report some degree of lower back pain. Therefore, lower back pain itself is not a sufficient indicator of a herniated disc. If your pain is the result of a fall or accident, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the exact nature of your injury.
- Sciatica: Sciatica is caused by pressure on the spinal nerve, which causes a sharp shooting pain typically from the buttocks down the back of one leg.
- Weakness in one leg
- Tingling (a feeling of pins and needles) in one leg or buttocks; or numbness
- Problems with bladder or bowel control
- A burning neck pain
Herniated cervical disc symptoms
- Pain: Pain can be experienced in the muscles between your neck and shoulders, down one arm, and/or in the back of the head or neck.
- Weakness, tingling, or numbness in one arm
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
If you have severe weakness in both arms and/or both legs, increased pain at night, or more pain or weakness than usual in your back, it is vital to seek immediate medical attention, as your condition may be serious.
When you visit your doctor, s/he will evaluate your full medical history and current condition via a physical examination. It is important to provide a detailed account of your symptoms and the accident or injury responsible for your current condition. An x-ray, MRI, CT scan, and/or EMG may be conducted to help diagnose or rule out a herniated disc.
Different options may be available for herniated disc treatment. To determine the best method of treatment for you, it is imperative to speak with your health practitioner. Most patients with a herniated disc will get better in approximately four weeks. For over 90 percent of patients with a herniated disc, conservative treatment methods are effective. Conservative herniated disc treatment may include:
- Lots of bed rest and non-prescription pain killers
- The use of muscle relaxers, analgesic, or anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed or recommended by a doctor
- The application of cold compresses or ice for 20 minutes or less, several times a day
- Application of gentle heat treatments, if spasming stops
Physical therapy involving slow and controlled movements can also be helpful for strengthening the lower back or neck areas. Bending forward and lifting objects should be avoiding during recovery time. Most doctors recommend short walks and the avoidance of sitting for long periods. It is important for patients with a herniated disc to learn how to properly sit, stand, and lift to avoid a subsequent neck or back injury.
Some patients who do not respond well to these treatments may require a series of shots, or epidural injections, to reduce nerve irritation and assist in a patient’s rehabilitative efforts.
When the aforementioned treatment efforts are not effective, herniated disc surgery may be required to alleviate symptoms and correct your condition. If part of a herniated disc lodges in the spinal canal, pressing on a nerve to produce a loss of functioning, herniated disc surgery may also be required. Microdiskotomy and laminectomy are options for lower back herniated disc surgery, depending on the size and location of the ruptured disc. An anterior cervical discotomy and fusion may be necessary for a herniated cervical disc. A period of two to six weeks of recovery is necessary following herniated disc surgery, after which a person can often return to work and resume other daily activities.
If you or a loved one has suffered a herniated disc because of a work related incident(s) or due to an accident caused by another, you may be able to recover your medical expenses, and obtain compensation for your loss of income during your recovery, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. To learn more about your legal rights and options, please contact the qualified herniated disc lawyers at Oshman & Mirisola. We have extensive experience handling cases like yours and are prepared to aggressively protect your interests.
Contact us today at 1-800-400-8182, or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Our firm utilizes the contingency fee system, where we not only provide free consultations, but never charge a fee unless we are successful in obtaining a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf.