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At Morris & Widman, P.A. we have helped many clients who sustained back and neck injuries obtain compensation for their suffering. However, the mysterious nature of disc pain is often a major obstacle to a fair settlement or verdict. That is why we encourage you to get a clear diagnosis from a respected specialist and to commit to the program of rehabilitation that your physician prescribes. When you have done everything medically possible to improve your condition, your case for relief becomes much stronger.
(This page discusses injuries specific to the discs of the spine, for a discussion of trauma to the spinal cord, see our page on Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries??and for a discussion of injuries to the vertebrae, see our page on Back Injuries.)
A disc is soft tissue that cushions the vertebrae in the spine. A traumatic event can cause a painful condition that is known by many names: herniated disc, bulging disc, slipped disc, torn disc, ruptured disc, collapsed disc or disc protrusion. What essentially happens is that the outer portion, the annulus fibrosus, of the disc breaks down and the inner portion, the nucleus pulposus, pushes through, impinging on the spinal column or the surrounding nerves. Pain, numbness and tingling then radiate from that point of irritation.
Herniated discs in the lumbar region (lower back) radiate sciatic pain down the legs, and herniated discs in the cervical region (the neck) mostly radiate into the shoulders and arms, but have been known to affect the lower extremities. A condition known as myelopathy can develop, in which the patient experiences numbness, loss of balance, lower extremity weakness and loss of bladder control.
Doctors also refer to this condition as a pinched nerve, which is quite different from disc pain that results from degenerative disc disease, a condition which occurs over time.
Degenerative disc disease is not really a disease, but a condition that arises with virtually every person as we age. The spacing between the vertebrae diminishes and this sometimes causes painful symptoms. Individuals who repeatedly put stress on their backs are more likely to develop degenerative disc disease. A legal question arises when a person who already has a history of degenerative disc disease suffers trauma in an accident that increases her or his suffering. That person is still entitled to compensation, but it takes a skilled attorney to assemble the necessary evidence and present a compelling case.
With all the advances in medicine, there is still plenty of disagreement among doctors on how to diagnose and treat disc injury. To help ensure that you are compensated for your pain, be sure to consult an experienced injury attorney at Morris & Widman, P.A. To schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation, call 941.552.4616??or??contact us online.
Morris & Widman, P.A. is available to handle legal malpractice and personal injury cases throughout Florida, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice, Gainesville, Orlando, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Titusville, Melbourne, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Naples, Fort Myers, Tallahassee and Pensacola.