Herniated disc injuries are common after accidents like car crashes and slips and falls. These severe injuries affect millions of people every year.

Sadly, herniated discs can be life-altering and cause mobility issues, chronic pain, and even hospitalization and surgery.

The party at fault can be held accountable when you suffer a herniated disc due to negligence. Even a minor spinal injury has the potential to cause detrimental effects. Costly medical bills, lost wages, and other losses can make healing more difficult.

Consider the common causes of herniated discs and how these injuries may affect your quality of life.

Herniated Discs Explained

The spinal column is one of the most delicate parts of the body. It connects your head, neck, and shoulders and facilitates brain functions, blood flow, and motor activity.

Medical professionals assign numbers to the vertebrae, and those in the neck are numbered C1 to C7. Depending on the location of the injury, the spine can react differently and result in a herniated disc.

Often, the most susceptible vertebrae to herniated discs include C4/C5 and C5/C6.

Mechanism of Injury

Between each vertebra, humans have discs that serve as cushions between the bones. These discs allow fluid movement by absorbing the strain and pressure of each vertebra. Inside, the discs contain soft and hard layers that absorb the shock from bodily movements.

Herniated discs are rips and tears that can occur in the spinal discs’ outer layer. Whenever a fall or an impact causes your body to overextend, one or more discs can become damaged. Even a minor tear can cause pain and mobility difficulties. When these tears aren’t treated, permanent injuries such as spinal damage can occur.

Car Crashes

Car accidents and slips and falls most often cause herniated discs. In many cases, these injuries are caused by a negligent party, such as a reckless driver or an unsafe work environment.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), traffic crashes and collisions are the most common types of accidents that lead to herniated discs.

Of all car accidents, the most likely to cause a herniated disk or spinal cord injury are:

The impact of these types of car collisions can cause the spinal column to be pushed forward against the interior wall of the spinal canal, resulting in torn discs and damaged vertebrae. Although not all crashes will result in a severe back injury, the high-speed nature of these impacts puts the spine at significant risk.

Slips and Falls

According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), injuries from slips and falls are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States.

These types of accidents can occur anywhere — in the workplace, a shopping center, or your home. Hard landings and overextension of the back and spine can lead to herniated discs and other health complications.

Symptoms of a C4/C5 and C5/C6 Herniated Disc

Even if you don’t feel pain immediately after an accident, seeking medical attention is critical to obtain a proper evaluation.

Damage to the C4, C5, and C6 vertebrae often results in the following symptoms:

  • Stiff neck
  • Limited mobility
  • Numbness in shoulders and back
  • Discomfort when bending

If you experience these symptoms, especially following an accident, make sure to speak with a doctor.

Medical Records Can Help Your Herniated Disc Personal Injury Claim

The sooner you can diagnose a herniated disc, the sooner you can start a proper course of treatment.

Additionally, you’ll want to maintain a record of any medical evaluations and diagnoses should you proceed with a personal injury claim. Medical records are critical evidence that can help support your claim or lawsuit in court.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Lexington Today To Get More Information

If you’ve been injured in a personal injury, please call Minner Vines Injury Lawyers, PLLC for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.