Many Accidents Can Cause Herniated Discs at C4/C5 or C5/C6. Here’s What You Need to Know

Neck injuries are very common injuries caused by car accidents in Destin, FL. A herniated disc in your neck can cause severe pain and limited motion. If you’ve sustained a neck injury in a car accident, here’s what you need to know about herniated discs at C4/C5 and C5/C6.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

The spinal column in your neck and back is made up of bones called vertebrae. Your spine provides stability and structure for your body in addition to protecting the spinal cord. The bones in the neck (cervical spine) are identified beginning with C1 and continuing until C7.

In between each vertebrae are sacs called intervertebral discs. They consist of a jelly-like substance with a rigid outer ring. The discs provide a cushion between the bones as you move.

A herniated disc occurs when the inner part of the disc is forced through the outer ring. Other terms for herniated discs are ruptured discs and slipped discs. A herniated disc can occur at any point along the spine but is common at C4/C5 and C5/C6 after a car accident.

What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated C4/C5 or C5/C6 Disc?

A herniated disc usually presents symptoms in the days and weeks after the accident. Therefore, you might not receive a diagnosis in the emergency room or if you go to the doctor the next day. Instead, you will most likely experience one or more symptoms that will send you back to the doctor.

Symptoms of a herniated disc in your neck can include:

  • Chronic neck pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling or burning sensation
  • Pain that extends through the shoulders, down your back, or down your arms
  • Incontinence

The symptoms you experience can depend on the location of the cervical herniated disc. A herniated disc between the C4 vertebrae and the C5 vertebrae often causes weakness in the shoulder (deltoid) muscle. You may also experience numbness and tingling in the neck, shoulders, and arms.

On the other hand, a herniated disc between the C5 vertebrae and the C6 vertebrae can cause weakness in the bicep muscles (upper arm). It can also cause symptoms to radiate to the hands, wrists, and forearms with or without tingling and numbness in the neck.

Pain is a common symptom of a herniated disc. The herniated section of the disc can put pressure on nerves in the neck, causing pain. If the outer shell ruptures, the jelly-like substance may spill into the cervical spine, irritating nerve endings.

How To Diagnose and Treat Herniated Discs After a Car Accident in Destin, FL

The neck is vulnerable during a car crash. The seatbelt restrains the body, but the neck can whip violently back, forth, and sideways during the collision. The whipping action can cause injuries to the vertebrae and discs, particularly the discs located between C4 and C5 and C5 and C6.

Diagnosing a herniated disc in the neck can be difficult. Herniated discs do not show up on X-rays.

Generally, a victim begins experiencing pain and other symptoms, which sends them back to the doctor. A doctor orders a CT scan or MRI of the neck to determine what is causing the pain, which can detect herniated discs. Other diagnostic tests for herniated discs include electromyography, myelography, and discography.

The treatments for herniated discs depend on several factors, including the discomfort level and the injury’s severity. Generally, initial treatments for a herniated cervical disc are conservative. They involve non-invasive treatments, such as rest, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy.

If the pain level increases or is high, the doctor might prescribe an epidural steroid injection to place medication at the exact site of the herniated disc. If conservator treatments are ineffective, surgery could be required to treat a herniated C4/C5 or C5/C6 disc.

How Much Compensation Can I Receive for a Herniated Disc After a Car Accident in Destin, FL?

The value of your damages depends on the severity of your injury and other factors. Generally, as the severity of your injury increases, the amount of your damages increases.

Your medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages increase when you sustain a severe injury. Severe injuries could cause long-term impairments and increased pain and suffering, thereby increasing the value of non-economic damages.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Northwest Florida

A Destin car accident lawyer at  Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys can evaluate your damages during a free consultation. A herniated disc can be diagnosed accurately, but proving the severity of the injury and that the accident caused the herniated disc could be challenging. If you sustained injuries in a car accident, contacting an attorney is one of the best ways to protect your rights.

If you need legal assistance, contact the Destin car accident lawyers at Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
(850) 790-0243

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 863-5297