Car accidents can cause serious injuries, and one of the most common ones is a herniated disc. This type of injury occurs when the soft, gel-like center of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the disc's tough outer layer. Herniated discs can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in various parts of the body, and they can even require surgery in severe cases.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you can trust Robert Mitchell, MD, and our team at Tulsa Accident Care Center to guide you through the process of diagnosing your injury and giving you the treatment you need. If you’re diagnosed with a herniated disc, you need the appropriate care to reduce the chances of complications and help your body heal.
In this post, we explain some of the telltale signs of a herniated disc and what you should do if you suspect you have one.
The following are some of the most common signs of a herniated disc:
Neck or back pain is one of the most common signs of a herniated disc. If you experience pain in your neck, shoulders, or upper back after a car accident, this may be a sign of a herniated disc in your cervical spine. If you experience pain in your lower back or buttocks, this may be a sign of a herniated disc in your lumbar spine.
Another sign of a herniated disc is numbness or tingling in your arms, hands, legs, or feet. This occurs when the herniated disc puts pressure on the nerves in your spine, which causes them to send abnormal signals to your brain. You may also feel a burning or prickling sensation in the affected area.
Herniated discs can cause muscle weakness in the areas affected by the discs. For example, if you have a herniated disc in your lumbar spine, this may lead to weakness in your legs, which could make it difficult to walk or stand for extended periods of time. Muscle weakness can also affect your ability to perform everyday tasks, such as lifting objects or carrying groceries.
If you have a herniated disc, it’s common to experience pain that worsens with certain movements. For example, if you have a herniated disc in the lower part of your spine, you may experience increased pain when you bend forward, lift heavy objects, or twist your torso.
In some cases, a herniated disc can cause headaches. This occurs when the herniated disc puts pressure on the nerves in your neck, causing referred pain in your head.
If you suspect you have a herniated disc, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The team at Tulsa Accident Care Center can perform a physical examination and order diagnostic imaging tests to reach a diagnosis. Our center offers on-site imaging facilities, including MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays.
Once diagnosed, Dr. Mitchell will recommend the most appropriate treatment plan to help you get better. Treatment for a herniated disc will depend on the severity of your injury and your symptoms. Here are some common approaches to treating a herniated disc.
Rest is essential for allowing the body to heal after a car accident. Dr. Mitchell may recommend taking time off work and avoiding any activities that could exacerbate the pain.
Physical therapy can help reduce pain, improve mobility, and prevent future injury. A physical therapist can guide you through exercises and stretches that can strengthen the muscles in your back and neck and improve your posture.
Getting injections of corticosteroid medications directly into the affected area may help to reduce inflammation and pain.
A herniated disc from a car accident can cause a range of symptoms. What’s most important is that you don’t put off getting an evaluation. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is the key to a successful recovery, and our team at Tulsa Accident Care Center can help.
If you think you may have a herniated disc, get evaluated by calling 918-209-3870 or booking an appointment online with Tulsa Accident Care Center today.