What You Need To Know About a Herniated Disk Injury - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

What You Need To Know About a Herniated Disk Injury


The pain you feel in your back after a car accident or following a slip and fall on a wet floor could be nothing more than your muscles reacting to the strain you placed on them. It could, however, be a serious injury to one or more of the disks located between the vertebrae that make up the spine. Herniated disk injuries can be debilitating with severe pain and numbness in the affected area and in the extremities. The pain can be so intense that engaging in your normal daily activities might be impossible. Proper diagnosis and treatment is essential to alleviate the pain and suffering from a herniated disk injury.

The function of disks in the spine

Your spine is composed of vertebrae or bones stacked atop one another. Holding each vertebra in place and preventing it from rubbing against the ones above and below it are disks filled with a gelatin-like substance. Each disk is, in effect, a shock absorber protecting each vertebra.

As people age, the wear and tear they place on their spine may cause the disks to weaken and lose their ability to cushion movement of the vertebrae. Sudden trauma, as might occur in a car accident, a fall or being hit in the back by another person, can cause one or more disks in the back to rupture or herniate. Leakage of the gelatin-like material into the spine may put pressure on nearby nerves.

Difference between a bulging disk and a herniated disk

An injury might cause damage to a disk allowing its outer surface to expand or bulge beyond the vertebra it protects. The gelatinous material remains contained in the case of a bulging disk, but the expansion of the disk can cause pain and discomfort either from coming in contact with nearby nerves or by inflammation in the area.

On the other hand, a herniation or rupturing of a disk allows its gelatinous material to protrude into the surrounding area. This protrusion can compress nerves in the area. The numbness some people with a herniated disk feel in a leg could be the result of the compression of a nerve in the lower back radiating down the extremity.

How is a herniated disk diagnosed?

A doctor with a patient complaining of back pain will conduct a physical examination after obtain a medical history from the patient and inquiring about any recent or past accidents or injuries to the affected area. The doctor probably will order an X-ray, CT scan or MRI to aid in diagnosing the cause of the person’s complaints.

Treatment for a herniated disk

The usual course of treatment for someone with a herniated disk is to allow the injury to heal on its own. Maintaining muscle strength through walking and other activities is important to avoid worsening the condition. Doctors usually recommend physical therapy with exercises designed to strengthen the back.

Surgery for a herniated disk is usually reserved as a last resort where the injury does not heal on its own over time. There are new treatments being studied, including the use of ozone injected into the disk, which could prove effective in helping patients to avoid surgery.

Ontario personal injury lawyers can help

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation for individuals suffering injuries in slip and fall and car accidents caused by the negligence of others. If you have a herniated disk due to an accident, you could have a claim for compensation. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.

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