Imagine you’ve slipped and fallen due to an unmarked spilled liquid on a supermarket floor. You hit the ground hard but you manage to avoid hitting your head and start to get back up. Suddenly, you feel intense pain in your back. You can still move and you haven’t lost feeling in any part of your body, but your back hurts worse than you can ever recall. You go to the doctor, have an MRI, and when the results come back, you’re told you have a herniated disk. But what does that really mean?
As you may well know, your back is made up of a series of bones known as vertebrae. Between these vertebrae are gelatinous like disks that prevent the bones from rubbing together and allow for greater flexibility and support. Sometimes, due to general wear and tear, poor posture, or a traumatic injury, these disks can rupture, and the gelatinous innards can seep out, causing the entire disk to bulge out against the nerves in the spine. These herniations frequently occur in the lower back, but they can also happen in the neck or other areas of the spine, especially if caused by the impact of an outside force.
Anytime pressure is applied to a nerve, it will cause some sort of sensation, often a painful one. Because the nerves in the back are so sensitive and run signals throughout the entire body, the amount of pain this causes can be intense. It also means that the pain is likely to radiate from the back and into other body parts. It’s common for a herniated disk to create a secondary condition known as sciatica. Sciatica is the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body and runs down the entire length of the leg. This is why a herniated disk doesn’t just make it painful for a person to bend or use their back, it can make even something as simple as walking, incredibly painful to do. Considering that walking and moving is instrumental to a person being able to work, this pain could lead to lost wages. If your herniated disk and resulting sciatica resulted from the negligence of another person, such as a car accident, you may want to consult with a personal injury attorney to try and recover those lost wages.
Fortunately, herniated disks can heal on their own as long as the injured person balances the appropriate amount of rest and exercise. It’s important not to overexert yourself and exacerbate the injury, but it’s also important to do some exercise to keep your body healthy and allow your muscles to strengthen and support you. Sometimes, pain relief medication and physical therapy are needed to help a patient regain some level of comfort through the healing process. Other times, when the herniation is severe or the healing process isn’t working as it should, cortisone injections or surgery may be required to help a patient return to a normal, active, life. The cost of these procedures can add up quickly. If you’ve been in an accident and find yourself in this position, you may need the services of an attorney to file an insurance claim, or lawsuit to help recover the money you could use towards those bills.
Herniated disks aren’t the worst type of injury that can happen to your back, but the pain can make your life a living agony. No amount of money can take away that pain, but money can help you try to find a treatment to improve the quality of your life. If you’ve been in a car crash, slipped and fallen, or been in an accident due to someone else’s negligent behavior, contact ELG Law for a free consultation. Call us at 623-321-0566 and speak with one of our attorneys who are experienced in the field of personal injury law. We know that back injuries can be some of the worst physical pain a person can go through. We also know the laws that can work in your favor to help you win your case.