Disc injuries are frequently cause by the trauma that happens when your upper body is thrown forward and then backward during a motor vehicle crash. This violent motion can not only strain and damage muscles, but sometimes it can cause one of the discs in your back to bulge, protrude or herniate. When the disc gets moved out of its proper place, it can sometimes pinch nerves coming out of your spinal column. These nerves go into the arms, in the case of nerves coming from your neck or cervical area of your spinal column, and into the legs in the case of nerves coming from the lumbar or lower section of your back.
These disc injuries do not show up on x-rays but are only visible on MRIs or Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is important that you get follow up care from a doctor who specializes in
injuries of the neck and back so that any disc injuries that you may have sustained in the accident will show up because you have been given an MRI at the proper time. If the MRI reveals a disc injury, then it can be properly diagnosed, treated and documented.
It is important prior to the settlement of any case involving neck or back injuries, that the treating physician has either ruled out a disc injury or documented a disc injury that has been revealed on the MRI. The MRI will indicate if there is any disc injury and whether it is a “bulging” disc, a disc “protrusion” or a “herniated disc”. The MRI will also indicate at what level that disc abnormality is located and whether it is “compromising”, “encroaching” or “impinging on” any nerves coming out of the spinal column at that level. Some herniated discs with impingement on nerves coming out of the spinal column can result in back surgery at some point but most can be treated without surgery, using a combination of therapy, medication and pain management procedures which may include injections, in some cases.