You have been suffering from intense back pain since your car accident last month. Because your emergency room exam following the crash did not turn up a back injury, you are surprised to still be in pain. A visit to your doctor confirms your fear—you have a herniated disc.

Even with a seatbelt on, you can experience a great amount of force on your spinal column in a collision. A herniated disc (also known as slipped disc, ruptured disc, or bulging disc) is a common result of this kind of force.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

Spinal discs act as shock absorbers for the spine and separate the vertebrae. When a person’s spine is forced to move a certain way, a disc in the spinal column can move out of place. When this happens, the bones that make up the spinal column can rub together and put pressure on the nerves of the spine. Anyone who has experienced a herniated disc knows just how intense the pain can be.

Unfortunately, these types of injuries are often misdiagnosed because most herniated disc injuries don’t show up on x-rays. Also, victims may only suffer mild to moderate back pain at first before they are affected by severe pain that radiates throughout their backs, buttocks, legs and body.

Diagnosing and Treating Herniated Discs

When car accident victims suffer any amount of back pain, it is critical to their health and well-being that they push for additional tests such as an MRI or CT scan. Only then will they know if the back pain they are feeling is caused by a slipped disc. It is important that treatment begins as soon as possible because a slipped disc left untreated can put pressure on large nerves, which could eventually lead to permanent nerve damage. Treatment for a herniated disc can include pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, and surgical procedures.

Although treating a herniated disc is essential in reducing pain, many victims end up living with lower back pain as slipped discs can cause pain for a lifetime. Additionally, when nerve damage occurs as a result of the ruptured disc, disabling injuries could be the result, as a person’s ability to walk, speak, and function may be impacted.

Herniated disc injuries can cause victims of car accidents many limitations and can even prevent them from working and making a living. If you or a loved one has suffered a herniated disc in a collision that was someone else’s fault, you need to learn about your rights so that you can make a full financial recovery to help aid you in your physical recovery. To learn about your legal rights, please order a free copy of our report, 10 Tips to Get the Maximum Compensation After a Maryland Auto Accident.