Every part of your body is at risk of injury in a motor vehicle accident, but your back and neck are among the most susceptible. If you suspect this type of injury, it’s best to seek immediate medical care, as opposed to attempting to treat it at home.
Upon presenting at a local hospital, your medical team will conduct a physical exam to better understand the type of trouble you’re facing. From there, if they have reason to believe you have a herniated disc, they can order imaging tests including:
- CT scan
For example, an MRI is often used to confirm the location of a herniated disc and learn more about damage to local nerves. An X-ray is not as helpful in diagnosing a herniated disc, but it can help rule out other issues, such as a bone fracture.
If a herniated disc is confirmed, here are some of the types of treatment you may discuss with your doctor:
- Medication: There are many types of medication to treat the side effects of a herniated disc, such as over the counter pain drugs and steroid injections.
- Physical therapy: Depending on the severity of your injury, you may require physical therapy to assist with the healing process.
- Surgery: It’s not required to treat all herniated discs, but it may be necessary if rest and physical therapy don’t lead to the intended results. For example, a discectomy is when a portion (or sometimes all) of the injured disc is removed. This is typically necessary if the side effects of your injury persist for six weeks or longer.
If surgery is necessary, you can expect a longer recovery period, which is then followed by physical therapy and slowing reintroducing yourself to your day-to-day life.
A back or neck injury, especially one that is not properly treated, has the potential to cause long-term health problems, such as weakness, the inability to walk and bladder control issues.
If your injury resulted from a motor vehicle accident, file an insurance claim and learn more about your legal rights. You may be in position to make a personal injury claim with the intention of holding the negligent driver responsible and receiving compensation for your injuries.