SeanCarlo Lopez | October 17, 2023 | Personal Injury
Accidents Often Herniated Discs at C4/C5 or C5/C6. Here’s What You Should Know
Neck injuries are common injuries. A car accident, slip and fall, construction accident, sports injury, or recreation accident can result in a severe neck injury. Accidents can cause severe damage to the bones, discs, and soft tissues in the neck.
After a neck injury, you may experience stiffness and soreness, which could limit your range of motion. Severe neck injuries could cause debilitating symptoms. It is important to seek immediate medical treatment if you experience symptoms or your symptoms worsen.
Herniated discs are a common type of neck injury caused by accidents. Let’s look more closely at herniated discs of the C4/C5 or C5/C6 and how accidents can cause these injuries.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
The bones (vertebrae) in the spine provide structure and stability. They also protect the spinal cord. The first seven bones of the spine make up the cervical spine and are identified as C1 through C7.
A spongy-like cushion called an intervertebral disc is between each vertebra to shield and protect the bones when you move. An intervertebral disc is made up of an outer rigid shell called the annulus fibrosus and an inner core made up of a jelly-like substance called the nucleus pulposus.
A herniated disc happens when some or all of the disc is forced through a weakened part of the disc. Herniated discs are also referred to as slipped discs and ruptured discs.
A disc that moves out of place can pinch the nerves in the spinal column. The pinched nerve can cause severe pain. You may also experience pain when the fluid inside a herniated disc spills into the spinal column, coming into contact with the nerves.
A herniated disc can occur at any location along the spine. However, two common locations for herniated discs are in the neck between the C4/C5 or C5/C6 vertebrae.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Herniated discs usually present symptoms in the days and weeks after an accident. Therefore, a person may not be diagnosed in the emergency room. Instead, they may begin to experience a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to:
- Chronic neck pain
- Numbness in the affected area
- Burning or tingling sensation
- Pain extending to the arms and back
- Muscle weakness
The location of a herniated disc can impact the type of symptoms you might experience. For example, a herniated disc between the C4-C5 vertebrae can cause tingling and numbness in the arms and neck. The sensation can radiate to the shoulders, and you might notice weakness in your shoulder (deltoid muscle).
However, if the herniated disc is between the C5-C6 vertebrae, symptoms are often in the forearms, wrists, and hands, in addition to the tingling and numbness in the neck. You may also notice weakness in the upper arms (bicep muscles).
Diagnosing and Treating Herniated Cervical Discs
X-rays are not effective in diagnosing herniated discs. Doctors may use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a CT scan. A physician may also order a discography, electromyography, and myelography to diagnose injured discs.
The treatments for herniated discs vary depending on the level of discomfort, the exact location of the injury, and the severity of the condition. Doctors may prescribe over-the-counter medications and physical therapy. However, if those treatments are ineffective, doctors might prescribe painkillers, muscle relaxants, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and/or surgery to repair the disc.
Filing a Herniated Disc Personal Injury Claim in St. Petersburg, FL
Herniated discs are common injuries caused by accidents involving motor vehicles and falls. The trauma to the spine and back from the impact can cause the discs to herniate. The result may include chronic pain, limited motion, and other complications.
If another party caused the accident that resulted in a herniated disc, that party could be liable for damages under one or more Florida personal injury laws. They may be required to pay your economic damages, which could include:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Personal and/or nursing care
- Help with household chores
- Diminished earning capacity
An at-fault party could also be liable for the non-economic damages caused by a herniated disc. Those damages could include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Impairment, disability, and disfigurement
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- A decrease in quality of life
The value of your personal injury claim for a herniated disc depends on the severity of your injury, any long-term impairments, and other factors. The best way to know if you have a claim and how much your damages are worth is to schedule a free consultation with a St. Petersburg herniated disc injury lawyer.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm – Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
Contact a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer at Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.