Herniated Disc Injuries
Whether it’s a back injury or a neck injury, an injury to the spinal cord can have a real impact on your life. While an arm can be put in a sling and crutches can help you not use a foot or ankle, there’s no way to stop using your neck or back while it heals. This is especially true when your neck or back injury is a severe one, specifically a herniated disc.What is a Disc?
The human spinal cord is made up of many different parts. The most obvious are the many vertebrae (bones) that make up the spine. The bones are meant to protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is made up of the various nerves that start at the base of your brain and extend throughout your body.
Between the vertebrae is where you find a disc. If you picture an oreo, the disc is the cream, and the vertebrae are the cookies. The purpose of the disc is to act as a cushion between the bones in the spine. When healthy, these discs help provide flexibility in the spine, which allows us to do everyone from jumping jacks to touching your toes. An injury can quickly make these simple movements impossible.What is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc is one that is not where it should be. Instead of being lined up between the two vertebrae, a herniated disc is often torn and sticking out into the spinal column. While it may create a problem between the two vertebrae, serious problems arise when the herniated disc comes into contact with the spinal cord itself.Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Beyond just general pain, a herniated disc can often cause numbness, tingling, and weakness. This will all depend on the severity of the herniated disc, as well as how it is impacting the spinal cord.
The other variable is where these symptoms occur in your body. This will, of course, depend on where in your spine the herniated disc is. If it is in your lower back, you will probably have symptoms into your buttocks and down your legs. If your herniated disc is in the neck, you will instead likely have symptoms in your shoulders and arms.Treatment Options
There are essentially four different treatment options:
- The first step is often physical therapy. A therapist can usually help to strengthen your core and back which can sometimes minimize symptoms
- Another early option is medication. This includes over the counter anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, and opioid painkillers.
- A third step can be an injection, often with cortisone. These can alleviate pain temporarily or permanently, depending on the severity of your herniation. Unfortunately, they are not always successful;
- A last resort for people with debilitating pain is surgery. There are many types of procedures, but a common is where part of the disc is removed. This sometimes also includes fusing two vertebrae together.
First, we must make clear that we are not doctors. If you are looking for medical information, there are many resources available.
Even so, we have handled many cases for people with herniated discs. We know how to interpret the medical records, and we know how these injuries affect your life.
Whether you were injured in a car accident, in a slip and fall, or at work, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Marcotte Law Firm can help get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have a herniated disc injury, call Marcotte Law Firm for a fee consultation.