Representing Victims Of Serious Back Injuries

The human spine is a complex system. Its primary components include bones called vertebrae, which are connected with ligaments and cushioned by cartilage structures known as disks. When a disk slips out of place or ruptures, it is known as a "herniated" disk — and the resulting pain and loss of mobility can be excruciating. If you have suffered a herniated disk in an accident, the lawyers of Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst are here to help you.

Symptoms Of Disk Herniation

Common symptoms of a herniated disk include:

  • Pain at the site of the herniated disk that radiates into areas surrounding the disk. For instance, if the disk is in your lower back, the pain may radiate into your buttocks or thighs. If the disk is in your upper back or neck, the pain may radiate into your shoulders or upper arms.
  • Tingling, numbness or nerve pain, especially if the disk presses on a nerve.
  • Muscle weakness or spasms.

Pain caused by a herniated disk usually gets worse when the person is active and better when they rest. Sitting, driving, bending forward, and coughing or sneezing may all make the pain worse, because these actions put pressure on the nerves pinched by the disk.

Herniated disks may occur at any place in the spine, but they are most common in the lower back, where they are one of the most common causes of low back pain, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). U.S. residents spend about $50 billion each year seeking remedies for low back pain caused by herniated disks and other conditions.

What Causes Herniated Disks?

A herniated disk is frequently the result of an accident or straining the back too hard. A car accident, a workplace accident, or a slip and fall may all result in a herniated disk. Lifting heavy objects can also cause a herniated disk, especially if you have to lift such objects repeatedly for work. Recently, an increase in overloaded backpacks has resulted in schoolchildren and college students with herniated disks and other back problems; over 13,000 such students are treated for back pain every year, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Common treatments for herniated disks include:

  • Medications such as anti-inflammatory pain medications and/or muscle relaxants.
  • Exercises or physical therapy to stretch and strengthen back and abdominal muscles.
  • Practicing proper techniques for lifting objects, limiting weight lifted, and using devices to assist with heavy lifting, like a dolly or a pallet jack.
  • Surgery, in severe cases. The specific type of surgery depends on the condition and placement of the disk, and whether and how badly it is pinching nerves in the area.

Treatment for herniated disks often takes time, and it is not effective for every person. Some people who have severe damage or do not respond to treatment suffer long term, even permanent, disabilities as the result of a herniated disk.

Obtaining The Compensation You Deserve

Herniated disk pain can be frustrating as well as unpleasant. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when once-simple daily activities become difficult or impossible due to pain. If you've suffered a herniated disk in an accident, the knowledgeable Oklahoma herniated disk injury attorneys at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst in Oklahoma City can help. By pursuing legal action, you may be able to receive compensation for medical costs, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, as well as other damages. Call us today for a free consultation at 800-539-0652.