As a Carrollton car wreck attorney, we noticed that neck injuries are among the most common experience from car accidents. However, they aren’t always limited to whiplash. Drivers may experience trauma or damage to their C4/C5 or their C5/C6 vertebra. This particular region of the spine is located in the neck or is called the cervical area of the spinal column. It’s largely responsible for neck and shoulder movement.
So what happens if you have a disc injury? Do you know if you have a disc injury right away? From our experience as a Carrollton car wreck attorney, we know that you may not be aware that there’s more damage than simple whiplash. You may only begin experiencing injuries days or weeks after the crash. The human spine is quite resilient. Despite this, the force of an auto collision can lead to a variety of injuries to these discs including herniated or ruptured discs, and bulging discs. Any of these disc injuries could result in lifelong pain and in some cases disability.
A herniated disc happens when the gel-like center of the disk bursts through the disc ball and then places pressure against the spinal cord and nerves. The herniation can shrink over time and it may provide partial relief, but often herniated discs require surgery and extensive medical attention.
Diagnosing a herniated disk requires an understanding of your medical history along with medical imaging, testing, and a physical exam. This is not a diagnosis that doctors rush toward. A herniated disk is also called a ruptured disc because the inner substance of the disk has ruptured.
Bulging discs are not the same as herniated discs and often present less pain, but it can result in Greater long-term damage. A bulging disc will expand past the entire perimeter of the disk, although it may start early as expanding a quarter of the way past the disc circumference. Unlike in the instance of a herniated disc or the gel-like substance has ruptured, a bulging disc only involves damage to the outer layer of cartilage.
Because the nucleus of the disc is intact a bulging disc causes less pain but it provides less support to the vertebrae. The symptoms of a bulging disc can include arm or leg pain, tingling, and weakness in the limb. Bulging disc symptoms do not present right away, and they might be hard to catch because they seem to come on slowly. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately inform your doctor that you were recently in an auto collision.
Signs and Symptoms of a Cervical Disk Injury
Cervical discs including the C4/C5 and the C5/C6 are both nerve roots. They are a connection center that can affect different levels of the spine, and different nerves, and deliver different pain patterns.
When the C5 nerve root sustains damage between the C4 and C5 vertebrae there may be no apparent pain but instead weakness throughout the shoulders and upper arm. It can seem impossible to lift very simple items, or that patient may not be able to raise their arm past a certain level.
With the C6 nerve root injuries, which take place between the C5 and C6 vertebra, people often experience numbness only in the bicep and wrist. However, they will probably experience tingling and pain throughout the arm down into the flat of their palm.
Herniated discs offer a very specific type of sharp and burning pain which radiates away from the vertebra. Some people describe it as an aggressive tingling. They may also experience spikes in pain when turning their head from side to side or tilting it back and forward.
When to Contact a Carrollton Car Wreck Attorney
If you’re noticing neck stiffness, which has gone far past what whiplash might feel like, then you should revisit your doctor. Inform them that you were in an accident, and if you received any medical treatment after the crash. Unfortunately, most emergency room doctors and staff process neck pain from car accidents quickly with the assumption that it is whiplash or soft tissue damage. It may also take some time for an injured disc to present symptoms.
If your medical team has confirmed that you’ve sustained injuries specific to neck or spinal damage then it’s time to contact a Carrollton car wreck attorney. Our team of attorneys assist victims of auto collisions regardless of their type of injury. However, if you experience these specific injuries then it’s critical that you take immediate and assertive action to ensure that the involved insurance companies don’t try to devalue your claim. Contact John B. Jackson law offices today.