The spine contains vertebrae and discs, which are the cushions or shock absorbers that sit between the vertebrae of the spinal column. The spinal discs are filled with fluid. A bulging or herniated disc occurs when a disc is damaged. Depending on the severity of the damage, the disc may either bulge or break open and leak the fluid material In some instances, a herniated or bulged disc can impact upon a nerve root. If the disc material pushes on a nerve, it causes pain that travels through the body. The pain from a herniated disc injury can be severe and debilitating.
The location and path of the radiating pain depends on what level of the spine in which the disc herniation occurs. When someone sustains a herniated disc injury, the pain is not in the disc area itself. The disc herniation impinges upon a nerve in the spine that causes radicular pain. This radicular pain may be described as a pain that shoots through the body, usually to one area. Herniated discs often occur in the neck or cervical spine, and in the lower back at the lumbar and sacral spine. A herniated disc in the neck/cervical spine can result in shooting pain in an arm, hand and/or fingers. A herniated disc in the lower back, often results in symptoms affecting one or both of the legs. Because the pain and other symptoms are felt in the extremities (arms/hands or legs), many people fail to realize that they may have seriously injured their spine in an accident.
Herniated discs can be difficult to diagnose, because the disc is not well visualized on an x-ray. As such, herniated discs are rarely diagnosed in the emergency room after an auto accident, as most hospitals will routinely order only an x-ray to rule out fractures. If you are experiencing pain or numbness in your arms, hands or legs following an accident, you may have a sustained an injury to one or more of your spinal discs. Is is important that you report these symptoms to your family doctor, because there are tests that your doctor can order to determine if you have a herniated disc. If your doctor suspects a herniated disc, he or she can order an MRI.
A herniated disc is a serious injury that may occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, or other trauma. A herniated disc injury is not always be diagnosed until well after an accident. If you have symptoms from a herniated disc following an accident in Ontario, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer about your rights. A herniated disc may result in life-long consequences and it is important to make sure that your rights are protected. For a free consultation with a Ontario personal injury lawyer call us at 416-900-1070 or toll free at 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here.
Below is also a video explaining more about herniated discs in the lower back.
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