A bulging disc in the spinal column can be the result of a back or neck injury. Although not as common as a bulging disc that develops due to age-related degeneration, a bulging disc triggered by some form of trauma such as a car accident or whiplash can be just as painful.
When an intervertebral disc in the spinal column is traumatized by any injury to the back or neck, the disc weakens and it can bulge or protrude into the spinal canal. The protrusion can occur in the neck (known as a cervical bulging disc), mid-back (thoracic bulging disc), or lower back (lumbar bulging disc).
When a disc has a significant bulge, it can put pressure on nearby nerve tissue. This pinching of nerve roots or the spinal cord can cause pain at the precise location of the bulging disc injury along the spinal column. Additionally, pain, tingling, or numbness can radiate from the disc injury location to other parts of the body, such as the hips, thighs, arms, shoulders, hands, and feet.
How does a bulging disc injury occur? Several outside forces can cause an intervertebral disc to “bulge,” or protrude, including:
- A car accident
- A severe fall impacting the back
- Repetitive jarring motions in certain sports
- Heavy lifting
- Improper body mechanics
- Work that involves repetitive bending, twisting, or lifting
- Sitting, standing, or driving for extended periods of time
No matter what the cause of a bulging disc injury, treatments may include rest, physical therapy, exercise, and medications. If the bulging disc pain and other symptoms continue after these methods have been tried, open-back surgery may be recommended.
If you are suffering from a bulging disc that has been caused by injury – you may want to consider contacting an attorney to talk to you about your options. Too often, victims of bulging disc injuries try to “take care of themselves” and think that the pain is temporary and will eventually go away. They are often approached by an insurance company in the days following the accident and are offered compensation if they are willing to sign documents. Signing any papers before they have been examined by an experienced back injury lawyer is not recommended, as these documents often waive the victim’s right to pursue the compensation they need to help pay for treatment, loss of income, ongoing medical care and other costs.