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Car accident dangers: Slipped or herniated discs

A slipped or "herniated" disc in your spine is a very common -- and often very painful -- result of a car accident.

The sudden, forceful stop of your car, plus any additional jolts you take as the car comes to rest, can easily force these little bone cushions in your back out of place. If one or more ends up pressing against the nerves in your back, it can take a lifetime to heal.

The symptoms of slipped discs include:

  • Severe pain in your back or neck where the actual injured discs are located
  • Pain that radiates into your legs, feet, arms and hands
  • Sudden, sharp pain in your back with movement
  • Pain that gets much worse when you walk even short distances
  • Pain that increases if you stay sitting or standing for any length of time
  • The inability to hold your bladder or bowels

The older you are, the more likely you are to suffer a slipped disc -- just through the natural processes of aging. That means older accident victims need to be carefully assessed for injuries that aren't obvious at the scene of the crash.

If you're the victim, keep in mind that your own adrenaline could have prevented you from feeling injured on the scene. Only after your adrenaline drops does your body start sending out signals that it's injured.

Because it may be a few hours or days before the pain from a slipped disc settles in, it's important to your future to seek medical treatment as soon as you start to experience a problem. If you have to file a lawsuit in order to get compensation for your injuries, timely medical treatment helps establish the connection between the car accident and your condition. If you wait to seek treatment, the insurance company may try to allege that you were injured after the accident and are trying to push the blame onto the accident in order to get compensation.

Source: healthline.com, "What is a slipped disk?," accessed Jan. 31, 2018

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Gary D. Ginsberg is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has been recognized as an expert in litigating cases in the courts of New Jersey.

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