Many Accidents Can Cause Herniated Discs at C4/C5 or C5/C6. Here’s What You Need to Know
May 12, 2022 | Personal Injury
Herniated discs can cause life-altering injuries, including chronic back or neck pain and partial disability, and may even require surgery. Even without invasive spinal surgery, a herniated disc — caused by many kinds of accidents — can seriously impact your quality of life.
Vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents, car accidents, commercial truck wrecks, or pedestrian collisions, are the most common causes of accidental damage to the spine’s C4/C5 and C5/C6 levels. If you’ve been injured in this manner, you may have grounds to seek a personal injury claim.
What Is a Herniated Disc at C4/C5 and C5/C6?
Your neck, called the cervical spine, comprises the area of the spine consisting of the first seven vertebrae: C1-C7. They connect your skull to the upper shoulder and perform several critical muscle-skeletal functions, such as conveying blood flow to the brain and supporting the head.
Between each vertebra (neck and backbones) are intervertebral discs that provide cushioning between the bones and allow for more fluid movement. The discs consist of a fibrous outer layer that protects the softer inner layer. These discs help absorb shock from the movement of the head and neck.
A herniated disc happens when the outer layer of the disc tears and part of the softer layer protrudes. The interior of the vertebral disc contains inflammatory proteins that cause significant pain to the spine’s nerve roots.
What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
Pain is the most common indication of a herniated disc, ranging from sharp and burning to just a mild tenderness. Because neck pain is such a common aftereffect of a car crash, it’s important to know other herniated disc symptoms.
- Radiating pain in the shoulders through the arms to the hands
- Weakness or numbness of the neck and shoulders
- Tingling feelings in the neck
- Difficulty with range of motion in the neck
- Neck stiffness
The location of your herniated disc may also determine the symptoms you experience. For this reason, it’s essential to have detailed medical records, preferably from a specialist, that indicate the location of the herniated disc and descriptions of your symptoms if you plan to seek personal injury compensation.
How Is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed and Treated?
Your medical exam will include an assessment of your range of motion and an analysis of your presenting symptoms. The doctor will look for loss of extremity reflexes, signs of pain, muscle weakness, and limited range of motion.
After the physical exam, the physician may order one or more diagnostic tests, such as:
- CT scan
- Bone scan
- CT myelograms
Depending on the exam results, you may be diagnosed with a herniated disc, and your doctor may recommend a treatment plan.
H3 Herniated Cervical Disc Treatment
Many physicians start with the least invasive course of treatment — usually physical therapy or a pain management plan.
If that doesn’t work, you may be prescribed:
- Pain medications
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and pain
- Muscle relaxers
- Nerve root injections or epidural steroid injections
If the pain and swelling persist for more than six to eight weeks, you may have to have surgery to correct the problem. Pinal surgeons typically remove the soft protruding part of the disc to remedy the problem.
What Are the Effects of a Herniated Disc on Your Life?
Chronic pain and reduced range of motion can affect your job and your ability to take care of your family or home. If you have significant damage to the C4/C5 or C5/C6 area of the spine, you may require invasive surgery.
All of these can affect your ability to work and pay your bills. Treatment is essential but can quickly become expensive. A York personal injury attorney can help you get the damages you deserve to cover your medical care and suffering.
Contact an Award-Winning Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer For Help
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury in Harrisburg or elsewhere in the state of Pennsylvania, contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates. Our award-winning Harrisburg personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights and fight to secure the financial award you may deserve. Please contact us at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:
Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
Wyomissing Law Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610