Our spinal cord injury lawyers have represented countless individuals affected by bulging discs and we can help you, too. Read on to find out more about bulging discs and what you can do to secure all of your legal rights.
WHAT IS A BULGING DISC?A bulging disc is a spinal cord injury which occurs in the neck (cervical), thoracic (mid back) or low back (lumbar). As the name suggests, the spinal disc bulges through a crevice in the spine. Spinal discs are composed of a soft, round, and jelly-like material that cushions the vertebrae of the spine. Bulging discs and back injuries can be caused by or made worse because of a preexisting condition due to an automobile accident. Bulging discs are also known as a "contained" spinal disc injury because the bendable inner layer of a disc (nucleus pulposus) remains encased in the bony outer layer of a disc (annulus fibrosis). Bulging discs are caused by a variety of factors such as:
- Back injuries from car accidents
- Spinal bone spurs push out on a disc
- Collapsed space between vertebra
- Other degenerative conditions
BULGING DISC SYMPTOMSDepending on its location on the spine, bulging disc symptoms can vary greatly. Some bulging discs will cause pain in your legs and feet, while other bulging discs will cause pain in your arms and other parts of the body. Some diagnostic tests can reveal a bulging disc such as an MRI, CAT scan, CT myelogram, discogram or X-ray. Your previous medical history can also help diagnose a bulging disc. Typical bulging disc symptoms include:
- Arm or leg pain. If you have a herniated disc in your lower back, pain will be most evident in the buttocks, thighs, legs, calves or even sciatica. Some individuals with a herniated disc in the lower back may also report pain in the foot or lower leg area. Herniated discs within the upper neck area may result in shoulder and arm pain. Although dull pain may be constant, many affected people report shooting pain up and down the affect limb.
- Numbness, tingling, and loss of motor skills. A herniated disc can cause nerve damage that results in numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, fingers and toes. In some cases, loss of motor skills due to numbness or tingling may result for nerves that are damaged by the herniated disc.
- Weakness. Many people with a herniated disc report increased weakness in the extremities.