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

If you are involved in a traumatic accident – such as a car accident – and suffer a back injury, it can be difficult to know what is causing it. This is especially true if your pain isn’t felt directly in your back but radiates toward other areas of your body. 

Often, a herniated disc injury can lead to pain felt in the shoulders, arms, wrists, and fingers. These types of injuries will not appear on an X-ray but must be diagnosed using a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) or CT scan. 

What Is a Herniated Disc?

Spinal discs are found throughout a person’s spinal column. They are located between vertebrae (the bones of the back that allow movement) and act as cushions. These discs have a hard outer ring, but their interior is filled with a jelly-like substance. 

If a disc becomes herniated, the jelly-like substance has been exposed, and two vertebrae may rub against one another, causing pain.

How Is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed?

A herniated disc is not usually identified directly after an accident. The patient may need to go through several rounds of appointments before the source of the injury is determined. An MRI, CT scan, discography, myelography, or electromyography may be required to diagnose a herniated disc.

What Type of Pain Does a C4/C5 or C5/C6 Injury Cause?

Pain from a herniated disc located in the C4, C5, or C6 sections of the spine will vary. 

People suffering from C4/C5 injuries usually complain of weakness or pain in the shoulders or deltoids. 

In contrast, C5/C6 herniated discs may cause numbness, tingling, and radiating pain throughout the arms to the hands. There is usually generalized pain, stiffness, and a restricted range of motion.

How Is a Herniated Disc Treated?

Initially, a doctor will prescribe a combination of medicine to limit inflammation and physical therapy. This course of treatment may continue for some time. Steroid injections to the spine may assist with swelling and healing. If these treatments do not resolve the issue, back surgery may be required. 

What Types of Accidents Can Cause a Herniated Disc?

In addition to general wear and tear of the spine over the years, a variety of different accidents may cause herniated discs.

Auto Accidents

A vehicle accident can easily cause herniated discs due to the sudden whip of the neck and back caused by the force of the collision. 

Motorcycle Accidents

If a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike during a motorcycle accident, their body may twist in a position that may cause a herniated disc or other spinal injuries.

Pedestrian Accidents

Like motorcyclists, a pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle will likely strike the ground in a manner that can lead to a herniated disc.

Slip and Fall

Individuals who experience a slip and fall accident, such as slipping on a patch of ice in a poorly maintained parking lot, may end up with a herniated disc injury.

Nursing Home Fall

A fall incurred by an elderly person in a nursing home is especially worrisome since they likely already have significant wear and tear in their spinal column. A herniated disc could lead to an injury that requires significant rehabilitation.

Is a Herniated Disc Injury Difficult to Prove in a Lawsuit?

It is not generally hard to prove a herniated disc injury in a lawsuit. A physician will be able to confirm the existence of the injury with the results of diagnostic testing. 

However, it is common to dispute whether the damage was caused directly by the accident or was due to a pre-existing condition.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today

For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

St. Louis Office
1430 Washington Ave Suite #226 St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 400-0000

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1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
(816) 408-3448

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