Herniated Disc Facts

As the Mayo Clinic puts it, a spinal disc is like a jelly donut. Spinal disc have a softer center and a tougher exterior, and when the disc slips or ruptures, some of that soft “jelly” slips out. It’s a fun analogy, but a herniated disc can actually cause serious pain.

What is a herniated disc?

Discs are located in the lower part of the back. They act to protect the vertebra in the spine, and act as shock absorbers and keep the spine flexible. Like in the jelly analogy, cracks or tears in the outer part of the disc can cause the inner gel to push through the cracks, causing the disc to split open. This is called a herniated disc. It is also called a slipped disc.

Herniated discs are usually caused by aging and degeneration. Like other parts of the body, the discs become less flexible as you age, and become more susceptible to damage. Accidents, like car accidents or a slip-and-fall at work can also cause herniated discs. Though herniated discs don’t always require surgery, they can result in a lot of pain for injury victims. As accident victims know, injuries don’t just lead to physical pain, but can also contribute to a loss of wages, a decreased well-being, and mental distress. For someone with a herniated disc, the issues can go far beyond just pain.

The symptoms of a herniated disc include:

  • Arm or leg pain, which may intensify with movement. Intense pain in the legs and buttocks is called sciatica, and is the most common symptom of a herniated disc.
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • In more extreme cases, a herniated disc could cause a decrease in bladder or bowel control

Some people, however, do not exhibit any symptoms. That is why it’s important to see a doctor after an accident. They may be able to spot and diagnose an injury that the person was not even aware of. If you do not see a doctor immediately, but then begin experiencing pain later, an insurance company might argue that it was a preexisting condition, and not the result of your accident.

Herniated discs are treated with general painkillers, or for severe pain, with cortisone injections or narcotics like OxyContin. Physical therapy can also help people with herniated discs reclaim their lives from pain.

If you are suffering from a herniated disc after an accident, don’t hesitate to get treatment from a doctor and guidance from an attorney.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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