IN MIAMI, THE PERSONAL INJURY STAFF AT THE PERAZZO LAW FIRM, SHARES INSIGHT INTO HERNIATED DISCS FOLLOWING AN ACCIDENT
Following a motor vehicle accident, a bike accident, a slip & fall accident, or any other situation which involves damage to the spinal cord, the accident victim may be diagnosed as having a herniated disc.
But what is a herniated disc, and how does an accident victim deal with a herniated disc?
Firstly, it’s important that accident victims understand that herniated discs are quite common and most herniated discs will heal on their own with the proper care, which should include professional physical therapy, exercises, and sometimes medication. More severe disc injury may require injection therapy or surgical intervention to provide lasting pain relief. Nevertheless, herniated discs should not be neglected, and the Perazzo Law Firm urges accident victims to seek professional legal advice following an accident that leads to neck or back injuries, especially if the pain worsens over time despite physical therapy and treatment.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
When an accident victim is diagnosed with a herniated disc, most certainly after an MRI study, the accident victim may experience any of the following:
- Pain along the mid or lower back
- Muscle spasms
- Radiating pain in the arms, fingers, legs, or toes
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the extremities
- General discomfort along the spinal cord
- Aching bladder
In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm highly recommends a professional medical evaluation of the spinal cord following a motor vehicle, bike, or slip & fall accident.
How to treat a Herniated Disc
The most common medical procedure applied to treat herniated discs involves physical therapy and chiropractic care. However, depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury, pain relief OTC drugs and anti-inflammatory prescription medications will help ease the pain of a herniated disc. Nevertheless, a professional medical evaluation is the best way to determine a treatment plan. The Perazzo Law Firm urges accident victims that have suffered a herniated disc from an accident, to not leave them untreated, given that the condition can turn chronic and may later only be treated through a surgical intervention. Thus, seeking medical care is the best initial way to treat a herniated disc. Furthermore, untreated herniated discs can lead to intense pain and discomfort, partial paralysis, and even difficulty controlling bowel movement. In most cases, physical therapy, coupled with proper home care, a herniated disc should heal in two to three months.
Following a professional medical evaluation of the affected area of the spinal cord, a physical therapist may prescribe home exercises to help ease the pain and treat a herniated disc. Heat and cold therapy treatments may also help ease the pain and increase mobility. However, as stated previously, this is a slow process that will take at least 6-8 weeks.
Treating a Herniated Disc at home
Following a car accident or slip & fall that leads to a herniated disc, a medical healthcare professional may recommend a home treatment plan to help deal with the pain and improve mobility.
Herniated disc home therapy may include any of the following:
- Mild prescribe exercises
- Hot pack / ice pack therapy
- Treadmill or walking
- Positioned sleeping techniques using a pillow between the knees
- Mild stretching
- Massage therapy
What not to do if you have a Herniated Disc
The neck, together with the back, are in constant motion whenever a person partakes in daily activities, even sleeping. Thus, there are a set of tasks that individuals that have been diagnosed with a herniated disc (through an MRI) should avoid. These may include any of the following:
- Extended time sitting down
- Slouching or bad posture
- Daily household chores such as sweeping, cleaning, gardening, etc.
- Strenuous exercise that involves bending, twisting, or lifting heavy objects
- Climbing stairs or walking uphill
- Sports like baseball or tennis
Understanding the spinal column / cord
The human spine consists of 24 discs located along the cervical spine (7), the thoracic spine (12), and lumbar spine (5). These discs act like cushions or fibrocartilage located between each vertebra or bone that make up the spinal cord. Following an accident, such as a motor vehicle collision or a slip & fall accident, a part of the nucleus protrudes through a ring-like structure or annulus. When this happens, the herniated disc may compress a nerve that runs through the spinal cord, leading to pain, numbness, and other symptoms of discomfort.
There are three parts to the spinal cord. They are the following:
The Cervical Spine (neck) – Consists of 7 discs: C1-C7 which provide the neck with pain-free movement. Usually, a herniated disc in the neck may cause headaches, dizziness, and shoulder tension.
The Thoracic Spine (upper/mid back range) – consists of 12 discs: T1-T12 which manage motor and sensory abilities along the upper back, torso, and gut.
The Lumbar spine (lower back) – consists of 5 discs located in the lower part of your back leading the the sacral spine and manage your legs and organs such as the bladder. Herniated lumbar discs can lead to bowel movement issues, as well as cause lower extremity pain and foot numbness.
In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm has ample experience handling personal injury accident claims that result in herniated discs, which are common after rear-end collisions, T-bone impacts, and frontal crashes, all of which involve a whiplash type of injury. In slip & fall accidents, falling backwards may often cause a herniated disc.
If you have been involved in an accident and are experience pain or discomfort in the head, neck, or back area, seek medical attention and contact our Miami-Dade personal injury offices ONLINE for a FREE initial consultation.
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The above-mentioned information is not meant to replace or substitute professional medical care and should not be taken as medical advice. The above mentioned is taken from years of dealing with motor vehicle accident victims that have sought professional medical care and were treated for herniated discs.