Personal injury lawyers in Baltimore have seen myriad labels applied to this condition: slipped disc, pinched nerve, ruptured disc, bulging disc, protrusion, disc bulge without frank herniation. Some Baltimore car accident injury victims have been heard to say "I put a fracture in my back" [although a fractured vertebra could potentially be a much more serious, and possibly life-threatening condition]. The spinal column is composed of bony structures known as vertebra, and in between each is a "disc" that acts as a cushion. The spinal cord is located inside and is protected by the spinal column. Nerves branch off the cord.
When the disc is injured, material from inside the disc can be forced outside the disc. This material can press on the nerves, or the cord, causing symptoms.
The symptoms can include pain, numbness and tingling that radiates into the arms or legs, depending on the level of the involved disc. Car accidents and falls can certainly cause a disc to rupture. Personal injury lawyers in Baltimore frequently see car accident victims with complaints of pain, pins and needles, tingling, shocking and numbness. This is often referred to as radiculopathy. If the disc injury is in the neck, these symptoms typically occur in the arm. If the disc injury is in the back, these symptoms typically occur in the legs. It's interesting, but most people over a given age have herniated discs, as the aging process can cause herniations as well as car accidents. It gets more complex because many people with herniated discs have no symptoms. Some people suffer with debilitating back pain have no associated herniated disc. Some injury victims have disabling back and neck pain, but tests show no herniated discs. Some studies1 suggest there might not be a correlation between back pain and disc protrusions. Seasoned personal injury lawyers in Baltimore certainly know that the size of the disc herniation is not related to the amount of pain experienced by their clients.All of this gives the intrepid and thorough insurance defense lawyer fertile ground to pin responsibility for neck and back pain on anything except a car accident.
Of course, if you are over 20, the insurance company is frequently going to contend that any disc herniations are pre-existing, and/or the result of normal aging.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 7/5/19.
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