Our necks and backs are built to withstand a lot of strain as we complete various tasks throughout the day. However, the stress factors involved in the typical motor vehicle accident may be too severe for the average spine to endure. This is why many people who survive car accidents end up with long-lasting neck and back problems.
One common problem is known as a herniated lumbar disk. This kind of injury may result in pain in the lower back and other areas of the back, as well as pain and numbness in the buttocks. This kind of injury needs swift medical attention.
Facts you should know about herniated lumbar disks
If your doctor diagnosed you with a herniated lumbar disk, the diagnosis may have come from the examination of an MRI or X-rays of your spine. Here are a few things you should know about your condition:
- Most cases of lumbar disk herniation resolve themselves within six weeks.
- The pain of a herniated lumbar disk can be severe and it could be hard to do normal activities. It could even be necessary to take time off work.
- Pain running down along the leg is common. In fact, herniated lumbar disks are the most frequent causes of sciatica.
- It might not hurt in the exact location of the injury. Because nerves travel through the spine, a problem in one area of the spine could result in problems in other areas of the body, which is why the legs, buttocks, back of the thighs and other areas could hurt.
- Some sufferers could experience a condition called "foot drop," where it's difficult to lift the foot when walking or when standing on the ball of the foot.
Healing a herniated lumbar disk
Sometimes all that is required to heal a herniated lumbar disk is time and rest. However, patients should visit their doctors to find out if pain medication, muscle relaxers, physical therapy or chiropractic therapy could help. These therapies may help ensure that a lower back injury heals rather than becoming a life-long and permanent condition.
Car accident victims with severe back pain may have the legal right to pursue financial claims in court. As such, victims may want to examine their accident and injuries from both a legal and medical perspective.