When you hear about herniated disks and serious back injuries in the media, it is most often in conjunction with the latest NFL player on the disability list. The beginning of this football season has already brought progress reports of recovery for Rams' running back Steven Jackson and Giants offensive lineman Shawn Andrews - both returning from back-related injuries. But you don't have to be a professional football player to suffer a spinal disk injury.
Spinal disk injuries can happen to anyone in the blink of an eye - all it takes is the improper lifting of a heavy box at home or work or an unexpected car accident. The pain of a spinal disk injury can stop a person in their tracks. Every movement can be excruciating, carrying with it the risk of further injury and permanent damage.
What is a Back Disk Injury
According to WebMD, most back disk injuries are in the lower lumbar area of the back.
Back disks are the pads between the bones in the spinal column known as the vertebrae. The circular disks are about one inch across and one-quarter inch thick. The disks are often compared to shock absorbers, but in reality, they're not as supple as that comparison makes them sound.
When it's subjected to stress, a disk may swell, with its inner, gel-like material pushing its outer membrane against surrounding nerves. This condition is known as a herniated disk (sometimes referred to as a slipped disk, ruptured disk or bulging disk). The pressure of a herniated disk on the spinal cord typically causes severe and even incapacitating pain.
The Most Common Causes of Herniated Disks
Herniated disks can be caused by a variety of factors, including the following:
Traumatic injury caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip or fall, etc.
Improper lifting of a heavy object
Degeneration of the disk
Back disk injuries can be successfully treated with a variety of approaches, ranging from noninvasive chiropractic care to surgery to physical therapy or rest. The level of care depends on the severity of the condition.
WebMD says treatment can include the following:
Modified activity: taking it easy when suffering from back pain can often help to alleviate symptoms. Staying away from straining the back by avoiding improper or stressful lifting, reaching or bending - as well as avoiding prolonged sitting.
Physical therapy: a therapist can give patients low-impact exercises to increase strength and reduce the stress on disks. Therapy can also include heat, ice, traction, electrical stimulation and ultrasound.
Pain medication: can include over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen, as well as muscle relaxants.
Time: herniated disk symptoms often subside after about four to six weeks.
Surgery: only about one out of 10 people with herniated disks require surgery. Candidates for surgery typically don't respond well to the above treatments.
If You Have Been Injured
If you have sustained a back injury as the result of someone's negligence, you should contact a California personal injury attorney to have your case assessed. Many of these back injuries are sustained in car accidents, truck crashes, collisions with SUVs and other motor vehicle accidents. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help victims receive compensation for their injuries.
Article provided by Rosenstock & Azran - Visit us at www.accidentlawyersinla.com