Bulging Disc – Spinal Injury

Injuries to the spinal column often occur following car accidents, truck accidents, and many other traumatic events. The forces involved in these types of events place extreme stress and sudden pressure on the delicate human spine. The human spine is broken down into the following categories: cervical (neck), thoracic (check/trunk), lumbar (low back), and sacral (pelvic). As pictured below, an injury to the spine is classified by the level of the spine which is affected.

The spine is composed of soft cushions called intervertebral discs. As pictured below (using the lumbar spine for purposes of illustration), the spinal column consists of numerous vertebral discs which act as cushions for the constant movement of the spine. These intervertebral discs act as tiny shock absorbers which prevent bone on bone contact. The bone separating the cushions are called vertebrae.


A bulging disc is one such example which may result from a traumatic injury to the spinal column. A traumatic event, such as the declaration or impact caused in an auto accident, often causes these delicate spinal cushions to become elongated or forced out of the space they normally occupy. As the pictures above indicate, a normal spinal column has neatly shaped intervertebral cushions between the vertebral bodies of the spinal column. A bulging disc, pictured below, will resemble a hamburger which is too big for its bun. The following picture on the left shows various types of injuries to the spinal column, including a bulging disc. The picture to the right shows an MRI of a bulging disc.

A bulging disc is a major interruption of the normal function of the spinal column. In addition to bone and cartilage contained in the spine, the spine also contains a vast network of nerves. A bulging disc will often pinch or press up against these nerves, causing a great deal of pain. A bulging disc should not be confused with a herniated disc, as this is another type of spinal injury.

It should be noted that following a motor vehicle crash or other traumatic event, an emergency room is typically the first place an accident injury victim receives treatment. Typically, x-rays are the only types of bone scans given at the emergency room following a typical accident. X-rays are a bone scan which is geared more towards uncovering broken bones and major complications. For this reason, bulging discs are often overlooked. An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is the scan which reveals a better contrast between the soft tissues of the body. It is important that an MRI is conducted if you are experiencing continued back pain.

Symptoms of a Bulging Disc

Bulging disc symptoms vary greatly between individuals. Individual factors which must be considered are the extent and severity of the bulge, the age of the individual, location of bulging disc in spine, degree to which the bulging disc interferes with the nerve roots, etc. Some common symptoms of a bulging disc are, numbness and tingling of the arms, legs, hands, fingers, and other extremities, as well as radiating pain. A point of pressure generally initiates the pain and it radiates down the affected nerve root projecting pain throughout the body.

Treatment of a Bulging Disc

Treatment is again a very individual consideration. Due to the severity and degree of bulging discs, treatment is personalized to the injured party. Conservative treatment for bulging discs is the first course of action. These treatments consist of physical therapy, heating pads, pain medication, pain injections, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and exercise.  If the pain persists, several surgical options are available, such as bone removal, bone fusion, metal cages, and metal plates and screws. It is important to consult with an orthopedic surgeon or other medical professional if you are experiencing persistent back pain.

If you suffer from continued back pain following a car accident, you should immediately consult with your medical professionals. Often the best medicine, if your daily life allows, is simply to rest. This may prevent surgery on your back. Movement and stress on the spine often aggravate a bulging disc and make the problem worse.

Bulging Disc Legal Assistance – Missouri Personal Injury Law

Treatment for a bulging disc may costs tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, if surgery is used to correct the bulge disc, a recovery time is certainly expected. These are harms and losses which Missouri personal injury law allows you to recover if you have been injured at the hands of a negligent party. It is important you consult with a Missouri personal injury lawyer familiar with bulging discs in order to prevent financial devastation and further loss. Missouri injury lawyer Christopher Dixon is available at your convenience to discuss your right of reimbursement for your bulging disc. For a free immediate consultation, call 1.314.409.7060, or toll free at 855.402.7274. We look forward to serving you.

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