February 1, 2023


After a stressful event, such as a car accident, your primary concern is to recover as quickly as possible. There may be instances where you get out unscathed, while other times, you may have severe injuries that might threaten your life. Following how bad you are hurt, you seek the assistance of the best doctors to assist you in your treatment. They can help you figure out if the injury is only internal or if you need more support. Because aside from the financial difficulties you must face, it is the physical difficulties you have to address first and foremost. If there are any delays, these injuries will cause a lifetime of pain, agony, and inconvenience. Similarly, as with whiplash, your whole spine gets disturbed in a car accident, and you can end up with an ailment known as Disc Herniation.

What is Disc Herniation?

A herniated disc is an issue relating to one of the rubbery cushions (discs) that reside between the various vertebrae that make up your spine. A slipping disc and a ruptured or bulging disc are all terms used to describe a herniated disc. The robust, rubbery shell protects the spinal disc’s nucleus (soft, jellylike core). A herniated disc happens when a portion of the middle part slips out due to a rip in the annulus. The word pinched nerve is another name for a herniated disc. A herniated disc might irritate a neighboring nerve if it occurs in any region of the spine. A herniated disc can cause discomfort, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg, depending on its location. 

When a spinal disc weakens and encroaches on the spinal cord, it is called a bulging disc in the neck. It can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, and back in certain people. A bulging disc in the neck can be due to an acute injury to the region. It is dominantly because of a car accident. This injury might cause no symptoms in many people. However, they may get surgery, which is rarely required to alleviate the condition. Since spinal discs are firmly connected to the vertebrae and do not move or slip, the phrase “slipped disc” might be misleading. Instead, the gel-like inner substance of the disc slips out from the inside. The nucleus, or the interior of the ring, might bulge out, which is why it gets referred to as a bulging disc. Now that you know the basics of disc herniation let’s get into the details of this particular disorder. 

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What Are the Symptoms of Disc Herniation?

A herniated disc’s symptoms may range from mild back and buttock pain to widespread numbness and weakness. The symptoms of automobile accident injuries vary according to these factors:

  • based on the person
  • the extent of the damage
  • location of the impact 
  • the type of injury in the spine. 

This condition might necessitate immediate medical attention. A herniated disc can exist without causing symptoms. You may not be aware that you have it unless a spinal image reveals it.

Herniated discs most commonly affect the lower back; however, they can also affect the neck. The indications and symptoms of this condition get determined by the position of the disc. Not only that, but it also depends on whether or not it is pushing on a nerve. The majority of the time, they only impact one side of the body. Other than that, here are a few of the symptoms of Disc Herniation.

  • Irritation in the Arm Or Leg: Your buttocks, thigh, and calf will be the most painful areas if your herniated disc is present in your lower back. There is a chance you will feel discomfort in your foot. If your herniated disc is in your neck, the pain in your shoulder and arm will usually be the most severe. When you cough, sneeze or move into a particular posture, this discomfort may radiate down your arm or leg. Most patients describe this pain as sharp or scorching.
  • Numbness or Tingling: This is a sensation that occurs when the skin gets exposed to the elements. Radiant numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves is common in people who have a herniated disc.
  • Burning Sensations: These may appear in areas of your body where you could be in pain. The feeling will increase with the degree of pain. 
  • Weakness: Muscles that are immensely dependent on the affected nerves tend to deteriorate. It can make you stutter or make it difficult for you to lift or hold objects.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose a Disc Herniation?

Consult an auto injury doctor as soon as possible if you have any concerns about your general health. You should get medical help immediately if you are experiencing the previously mentioned symptoms. You can consult an orthopedist or your health care physician to determine if you have a herniated disc. If your low back discomfort is accompanied by radiating leg pain, you may have a herniated disc. You will most likely get asked to perform the “straight leg raise test” by your doctor. If you have a herniated disc compressing a nerve, moving your leg can worsen the compression and produce discomfort down your leg. Your auto injury doctor might discuss any of your numbness, weakness, and slow reflexes to get a better picture of your injury. They will use ECG, X-rays, MRI, CAT scan, or even a Myelogram to figure out the extent of the damage. 

What Are the Treatment Options for Herniated Discs?

A majority of patients with herniated discs react favorably to non-surgical therapy and do not need surgery. For a few days to many weeks, a doctor may urge the patient to keep a modest, painless activity level. It aids in the reduction of spinal nerve irritation. However, a doctor may not advise you to undertake bed rest. If the pain is only mild to moderate, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine is commonly used to treat a herniated disc. An epidural steroid injection gets administered using a spinal needle guided by X-ray to precisely target the level of the disc herniation. A Physiotherapist can conduct a thorough examination, which, when paired with the doctor’s diagnosis, will result in a treatment plan tailored to the needs of individuals with herniated discs. Pelvic traction, massages, cold and heat therapy, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, and stretching exercises are all options for treatment. If none of these treatment options lessen the pain, the patient might have to undergo surgery. 

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Final Thoughts

With proper care, accurate diagnosis, and help from your doctors, a herniated disc will not be a problem for you!