Herniated Discs and Whiplash Injuries in Virginia Car Wrecks
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries related to car crashes. As Virginia car accident lawyers, we also see some people developing herniated discs, a more serious condition that may require surgery. Always ask your doctor to check for herniated discs and whiplash injuries if you were in a Virginia car wreck.
The Smith Law Center represents people who suffered a wide range of injuries in car accidents including herniated discs. If you have suffered this injury, you should consider a visit to a personal injury lawyer after consulting your doctor.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a very common injury suffered in car crashes in Virginia. Rear-end accidents are the primary cause of this injury. Whiplash injuries occur to the soft tissue in the neck and shoulders. Whiplash is a type of sprain that is so named because it results from the head and neck snapping quickly backward and forwards during an impact.
People who suffer whiplash injuries do not always realize they are injured at the accident scene. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stoke states symptoms may be delayed.
Before diagnosing whiplash, your doctor will perform a range of imaging tests, including CT scans, X-rays and MRIs to eliminate other possible causes of your symptoms.
Typically, the symptoms of whiplash heal up in a matter of weeks. However, they may linger and lead to other serious complications. Whiplash can affect the ability of a sufferer to move, work and carry out normal functions. If over-the-counter medications and applying ice to the injury fails to relieve the symptoms, you may require more powerful painkillers. In the past, cervical collars were used to treat whiplash. The medical profession no longer uses them widely but they can still be prescribed for short periods such as during sleep.
Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury
· Neck pain
· Stiffness in the neck
· Ongoing headaches
· Abnormal prickling or burning sensations;
· Pain of the shoulders
· Back pain.
Herniated discs may be caused by vehicle accidents as well as the aging process. The spine is protected by jelly-like discs. When you sustain a powerful impact in a crash, discs are sometimes damaged.
A herniated disc means the disc pad has ruptured and disc fluid is protruding outside the disc space. Often it impinges on a nerve or the spinal cord causing severe pain. The condition may require surgical intervention.
If you suffer from a herniated disc in your neck, you will likely feel considerable pain in your arm and shoulder. Herniated discs often irritate nearby spinal nerves. Sufferers may experience shooting pains when moving into certain positions, coughing or sneezing. They may experience tingling, numbness, or weakness around the affected area.
Usually, doctors will treat a herniated disc with conservative methods before deciding on surgery. These may include nerve pain medications, muscle relaxers and other over-the-counter treatments.
Physical therapy and cortisone injections can address the inflammation associated with a herniated disc after a Virginia car accident.
Surgery may be required if the injury does not respond to less invasive methods of treatment. All or part of the damaged herniated disc may be removed. When the damaged disc is removed, the two vertebrae adjacent to the disc are often fused together.
Surgery is a last resort. However, if you require surgery to treat a herniated disc, your medical bills and time off work will rack up.
The Difference Between a Herniated Disc and a Bulging Disc
People often assume bulging disc and herniated disc injuries are the same. This is not the case.
A bulging disc is diagnosed when the jelly in the center of the disc bulges out more than usual because of damage from an accident, general weakness and stretching of the outer annulus fibrosis layer.
Unlike in the case of a herniated disc, the jelly inside remains confined within the disc. Usually, small bulging discs do not cause compression of spinal nerve roots or the spinal cord and are associated with less radiating pain than herniated discs.
Talk to a Hampton Injury Lawyer About Herniated Discs and Whiplash Injuries
The neck and spine is a very complicated area of the body. Even a crash at low speed can cause considerable damage and pain. Most whiplash injuries clear up within weeks but we have seen symptoms that linger considerably longer. Herniated discs can be extremely painful and require major surgery.
Often another driver may be to blame for your whiplash or herniated disc injury. An experienced Virginia lawyer will file a claim against that driver to help ensure you get the payout you deserve. The veteran attorneys at the Smith Law Center have decades of experience in these cases. Call us at (757) 244.7000.