Any time you sustain an injury to your spine, nerve compression can result. Whether you strain a ligament, pull a muscle or damage a disc along your spine, interference with the natural alignment of your spinal structure can put pressure on one of the many nerves located there. The nerves in your hands, knees and other joints can also become pinched as a result of injury or overuse, causing pain. What’s more, the pain of a pinched nerve has the potential to radiate to other parts of your body, putting you out of commission while the nerve begins to heal.
What Is Nerve Compression?
When one of your nerves becomes compressed, usually within the narrow spaces of the spine, joints, tendons or ligaments, it sends pain messages to your brain. The nerve may become inflamed and swollen, which serves to exacerbate the pressure and pain. If a pinched nerve goes untreated in the long-term, its protective layer, or nerve-blood barrier, can break down. When this happens, leaking fluid adds to the inflammation, causing scarring and ultimately, dysfunction.
The Causes of Compressed Nerves
Although prolonged sitting, sleeping or standing in specific positions can lead to pinched nerves, trauma from car accidents, athletic injuries, workplace slip and falls, and repetitive motion are some of the most common causes of nerve compression. A broken bone or a herniated disc can press against a nerve and cause significant chronic pain. You could also sustain painful nerve damage during surgery. A penetrating wound, such as a gunshot or a stab wound, can compress or damage a nerve as well.
Treatment for Pinched Nerves
Bed rest is among the most commonly prescribed remedies for pinched nerves. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue any activities that cause pain, giving the nerve the chance to heal naturally. While this is a safe, non-invasive treatment, it is likely to mean time off from work and the loss of wages.
Physical therapy and pain medication are often the next steps. If your pain persists despite these therapeutic measures, you may be headed for surgery. Depending on your injury, your physician may need to remove bits of bone, ligaments or muscle that are putting pressure on the nerve.
Nerve Compression and Liability
A pinched nerve caused by trauma often means considerable expense, not just regarding your pain and suffering but also in financial terms. Diagnosis, treatment, medication, surgery and lost wages mount up. If someone else is responsible for your injury, that individual is also responsible for covering your costs.
For example, if a motorist is texting while driving and accidentally runs you over, that person is liable for your injuries. If your doctor messed up your surgery, leaving you with nerve compression, that physician is responsible for covering the resulting expense. If you slipped on a slick floor at work and wrenched your back, your employer is likely to be responsible for the expenses your state industrial insurance does not cover.
The total expense might include your actual medical fees, physical therapy, time off from work, future loss of wages, pain, and suffering, and more. A personal injury attorney is the best source for advice and advocacy in such a situation.
Help for Nerve Damage Victims in California
Rizio Lipinsky provides you with legal expertise, compassion, and support. When you are injured due to someone else’s negligence or intent, we are ready with the legal advice and commitment you need. Call us today at 888-292-8888, or fill out our contact form to set up a free consultation.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.