Herniated Disc After a Car Accident? Read This.
If you have been in a car accident and have gotten a herniated disc, you know that it causes a lot of pain. Herniated discs are common after car accidents, and without proper treatment, they can result in chronic pain, disability, and even paralysis if the spinal cord is damaged.
Keep reading to learn more about herniated discs and how we treat them at Impact Medical Zephyrhills.
What is a Herniated Disc?
A spinal disc is a fluid-filled circular structure that is located between the vertebrae in your spine. A disc’s role is to absorb stress from the spine and protect it from injuries.
A herniated disc can occur in any of the three parts of the spine:
- Cervical spine or neck
- Lumbar spine or lower back
- Thoracic spine or mid-back
A herniated disc occurs in a car accident when the force of the crash causes one of your vertebrae to push into your spinal canal, where it may compress or put pressure on your spinal cord.
Herniated discs can cause neck, back, arm, or even leg pain, as well as numbness, tingling, or weakness at the site of the herniation. While surgery is often recommended when herniation causes nerve impingement and weakness, there are other ways to treat it.
Symptoms of Disc Herniation
Some common symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- Pain on one side of the body
- Sharp pain in one part of the leg, hip, or buttocks and numbness in other areas
- Sciatica pain
- Pain when moving your neck, or deep pain near or over your shoulder blade
The pain of a herniated disc can become worse:
- After sitting or standing
- At night
- When sneezing, laughing, or coughing
- When walking a few yards or bending backward
Herniated Disc Treatment Options
There are several treatment options for herniated discs, including:
Though you should seek medical attention promptly after a disc herniation, there are things that you can do to support your treatment.
Because minor herniated discs are usually accompanied by inflammation, heat and ice therapy can be used to help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
Additionally, your doctor may recommend avoiding certain positions while sleeping, sitting, or standing so the affected area does not experience unnecessary strain. It can also help you avoid reinjury.
With the help of stretching, exercise, and massage, a physical therapist can help treat disc herniations by gradually releasing the pressure on the affected area and improving blood flow and nerve communication.
When a herniated disc pushes on a nerve, pain signals are sent to other parts of the body. A physical therapist can identify strategies to reduce nerve and spinal pressure while maintaining proper nerve pressure.
To encourage proper communication from the brain to the rest of the body, chiropractors are trained to deal with spinal misalignments that hinder this communication.
The goal of chiropractic treatment is to relieve pain caused by disc damage and realign the spine safely.
Having chiropractic treatment done regularly can help your body recover from the inside out and can potentially save you from minimally invasive spine surgery.
Interventional Spine Treatment
Minimally invasive spine surgery can be used by neurosurgeons to treat disc herniation problems in an outpatient setting. This treatment has three goals:
- Pain reduction
- Avoiding spinal surgery
Interventional spine treatments include epidural steroid injections, which can relieve pain in the arms and legs, as well as the spine.
Spine surgery is a major operation and should be considered a last resort option.
Herniated Disc Treatment
If you have a herniated disc following a car accident, don’t wait, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Our compassionate team at Impact Medical Zephyrhills is here to help you heal with physical therapy, chiropractic care, and interventional pain management.
Call to schedule an appointment today at (813) 706-5156!