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 discs. When a disc slips out of place or ruptures, it is known as a “herniated” disc — and the resulting pain and loss of mobility can be excruciating. If you have suffered a herniated disc in an accident, the lawyers of Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst are here to help you.
Symptoms Of Disc Herniation
Common symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- Pain at the site of the herniated disc that radiates into areas surrounding the disc. For instance, if the disc is in your lower back, the pain may radiate into your buttocks or thighs. If the disc 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 disc presses on a nerve.
- Muscle weakness or spasms.
Pain caused by a herniated disc 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 disc.
Herniated discs 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 discs and other conditions.
What Causes Herniated Discs?
A herniated disc 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 disc. Lifting heavy objects can also cause a herniated disc, 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 discs 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 discs 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 disc, and whether and how badly it is pinching nerves in the area.
Treatment for herniated discs 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 disc.
Obtaining The Compensation You Deserve
Herniated disc 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 disc in an accident, the knowledgeable Oklahoma herniated disc 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, or email the firm.