The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) estimates 60 to 80 percent of people will experience lower back pain in their lifetime. Back pain can be the result of any number of things. A herniated disc from a car accident is a common cause of severe back pain, and they occur after car accidents. Read on to see what to expect. 

What causes a herniated disc?

Your spine is made up of 24 individual vertebrae that protect the spinal cord and help you stand up straight. Between these bones are intervertebral discs, jelly-like cushions that act as shock absorbers for your spine.

When your spine is twisted or jarred in an accident, the intervertebral disc can rupture. The rupture allows the jelly-like center to protrude and push on the spinal nerves, compressing them against the bone. This compression is what causes the symptoms associated with a herniated disc injury.

Other accidents that can cause a herniated disc are:

  • Slip and falls
  • Work accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Bicycle accidents

What are the symptoms of and treatments for a herniated disc?

Localized back pain is the most prominent symptom of a herniated disc. The pain usually begins in the lower back and may fade in and out over the course of a few days.

Other symptoms include:

  • Leg pain
  • Sciatica
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs or feet
  • Leg or foot weakness

If the spinal nerve roots are severely compressed, you may lose bladder and bowel control. This loss of control is a serious condition, and you should seek medical attention immediately.

If your back pain persists after a few days of rest following your accident you should see a doctor for an examination. If your doctor diagnoses your back pain as a herniated disc, he or she may prescribe the following treatments:

  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory or steroid medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Removal of the herniated disc (microdiscectomy)

These treatments can cause you to miss work for several weeks or months as you recover. Surgery for a herniated disc may require an extended hospital stay and rehabilitation, all of which will add to your financial damages from the accident.

Can I recover compensation for a herniated disc injury?

If the accident that caused your herniated disc was the fault of another party, such as a drunk driver or negligent truck driver, you have the right to seek compensation for the following damages through a personal injury claim:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering

If you believe your accident was the fault of another party, the Montero Law Center will help you collect and review the evidence of liability in your situation. Our attorneys take care of the paperwork, investigations, claim submission, and negotiations so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500.