Many people in the Seattle area may either have or know someone who has suffered from a herniated disc.

A herniated disc is a condition that develops in one’s backbone, which is actually a series of smaller bones called vertebrae. Between each bone rest several disks, organs which have a soft center and a harder outer casing.

These disks prevent the vertebrae from grinding on each other and also serve as a shock absorber. However, if the outer casing cracks, the softer center will protrude and irritate nearby nerves.

For a lucky few, the symptoms may be minor or non-existent. However, the end result is often significant pain, which many people describe as a sharp, burning sensation.

Someone with a herniated disk may experience muscle weakness and numbness, as well as pain in parts of the body far from the herniated disc itself. Incontinence and other bowel and bladder difficulties are also symptoms.

Motor vehicle accidents a common cause

While herniated discs frequently develop gradually, and particularly among people who move or lift for work, sudden trauma to the back, like a fall, a blow or rapid force, can cause a herniated disc.

For example, even what might otherwise seem like a minor car accident can cause or contribute to a herniated disc. People might not realize it, but even an accident at low speeds can put a lot of force on the body, including a person’s back.

This is one reason why it is important for anyone who has been involved in an accident to strongly consider having a medical professional evaluate them.

Someone who does suffer a herniated disc because of another motorist’s negligence may have the right to pursue compensation for their injuries.