If you experienced pain, muscle weakness, or numbness in your lower back, or legs, you may have experienced sciatica or a sciatic nerve injury.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a sciatic nerve injury is one that creates pain which radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs through the lower back, hips, glutes, and the legs. Sciatica can affect one side of the body, or both, but most often occurs unilaterally. The severity of a sciatic injury can range from mild to severe pain.
While many people mistakenly believe sciatica only happens to elderly people who have less mobility, that’s not true. A car accident can cause sciatic nerve injuries as well. When a nerve injury occurs after a car accident, it can drastically affect your quality of life and ability to carry out everyday activities as you did before the accident. If that’s the case, you should get medical care immediately. Once you’ve done that, contact a Tampa Personal injury lawyer for help with your personal injury claim.
What Is A Sciatic Nerve Injury?
Understanding sciatic pain requires first familiarizing yourself with the anatomy of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and starts at the spinal cord. It continues to run down through your hips and glutes. And finally, it branches down the back of both legs.
Due to its length and location, it’s one of the most important nerves in the body. The sciatic nerve directly impacts your ability to move, feel, and control your legs. As such, the sciatic nerve is directly linked to your mobility, or lack thereof. A sciatic nerve injury would then cause sciatica, which is not actually a condition. Rather, sciatica is a collection of symptoms that manifest after you’ve experienced damage to your sciatic nerve. In other words, sciatica is a symptom of an underlying injury to the spine or vertebrae. You will know for sure if you experience sciatica because the symptoms are very distinct and often painful or uncomfortable.
Symptoms of sciatica are very similar to those of nerve damage, and may include:
- Tingling down they glutes
- Tingling down the back of the legs
- Loss of sensation or movement (in very severe cases), similar to the sensation of your foot “falling asleep” after a long period of being idle
Car Accidents Can Cause Sciatic Nerve Injuries
Car accidents can cause your body to move and twist in unnatural ways, leading to spinal or vertebral injuries. Such injuries can lead to pinched sciatic nerves, like when you experience a herniated or slipped disc in your spine. The impact of the collision can cause your body to experience vigorous movements that put things out of their natural place or range of motion. Any car accident impact has the potential to cause a spinal cord injury and result in a pinched sciatic nerve.
In fact, car accidents are a very common trigger for the onset of sciatica due to a sciatic nerve injury. According to Tampa Central Chiropractic, back injuries are one of the most common injuries sustained in Tampa car accidents. This is because the spine is only designed to move and bend within a certain range of motion, but a car crash can force it out of this natural range. The sudden pressure can cause injury and damage to major nerves. So, whether you have a history of back pain or not, the forceful impact of an auto collision can cause injuries that lead to sciatic nerve damages.
It’s Best to Seek Medical Assistance Immediately After a Tampa Car Accident
If you experience any of the following symptoms that last longer than a few weeks after a car accident, make an appointment to see your physician or a specialist who can give you the proper care you need. Your primary care physician may refer you to a chiropractor or other specialist for tailored treatment. Symptoms that can allude to a sciatic nerve injury include:
- Persistent pain on one side of the glutes or legs (sciatica most often occurs in one leg, rather than both, but it is possible)
- A burning or tingling sensation with pain in the leg, which usually worsens when sitting
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the legs
- Difficulty moving the feet along with feeling weak or numb
- Foot drop – the inability to bend your foot upwards
- Any sharp pain that makes it difficult for you to stand or walk
All of the above symptoms can have a dramatic impact on the quality of your everyday life. It can cause limited mobility, less independence, and a decreased quality of life. The effects of a severe sciatic nerve injury don’t just affect the injury victim. They can also take a toll on their loved ones and other people who have everyday contact with them.
What Should I Tell My Doctor After Getting Into a Tampa Car Accident?
You’ll want to tell your practitioner or doctor everything that happened with as much detail as possible. You will tell them obvious facts like where your pain is located and when your symptoms began. They may ask if you experience more pain while doing certain activities or at a particular time of day.
It’s also a good idea to tell your doctor about the details of the actual car accident. Details of the nature and severity of the accident can help your doctor know what to look for and how to make a proper diagnosis. For instance, you might want to share with your doctor when the accident occurs, whether you were driving or in the passenger seat, or in the back seat. It’s also important to know how the collision occurred. Were you rear-ended or got into a head-on collision? And what happened right after the accident?
Sharing as much detail as possible with your doctor is important not only for proper diagnosis and treatment, but also for legal purposes. It’s possible for your medical records to get subpoenaed if your car accident case goes to trial. That means the opposing legal counsel can request to see your doctor’s medical notes and records for any treatment you received after the accident. This is another reason why you need to see a doctor right away, as this will show that your injuries were urgent and you took them seriously enough to get immediate medical care.
Different Types of Testing and Treatments for Sciatica Nerve injury
Once your doctor completes questioning and assessment, if they believe you may have a sciatic nerve injury, they may conduct special testing. Testing for sciatic nerve injury could be:
- An X-ray – x-rays are images of internal tissues, bones and organs.
- An MRI – and MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging test uses magnets to manipulate radiofrequency energy. This allows a computer to make a 3D image of the internal organs and bodily structures to aid any broken bones or soft tissue injuries.
- EMG – An EMG, or Electromyography, analyzes electrical impulses in your muscles. During an EMG, the practitioner will place thin needles in your muscles to record muscular electrical activity. Often an NCS, or nerve conduction study, is administered in conjunction with an EMG to test for normal nerve functioning. NCS testing involves placing electrodes on various locations on the skin, along the nerve pathway. Then, the nerves are stimulated to check if they are reactive and functioning normally.
Treatment for a sciatic nerve injury usually requires rest, physical therapy, and sometimes spinal injections. Some people might need medications to help manage the pain and inflammation. On rare occasions, for very severe cases, surgery is needed for injury victims who experience extreme pain and chronic discomfort.
While all of this medical treatment and the associated bills seem overwhelming, don’t worry. If you have a skilled Tampa personal injury attorney working on your case, you have a good chance at recovering financial reimbursement for all of the medical costs associated with your accident injuries.
Beware of Insurance Companies Trying to Undercut Your Right to Compensation
As an injured victim of an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you have a right to seek financial compensation for all your damages. It’s not just the physical injuries you can recover for, but the emotional and psychological damages as well.
With the high cost of healthcare, most people can’t afford to pay for unexpected medical bills out of pocket, especially for serious injuries that require extensive medical care and treatment. Sadly, however, it’s not an uncommon practice for insurance companies to fight medical claims or deny claims involving sciatic nerve injuries. Many times they use a “pre-existing condition” argument to claim that the injury victim already had a condition and that the accident injuries wouldn’t have been so bad had they not already had a condition.
When you’re injured and trying to recover from an accident, the last thing you want to do is fight with an insurance company. Negotiating with insurance companies can be confusing, complex, and downright annoying. And it’s not fair for you to get lowballed because they want to protect their profits at your expense. But the good news is that you can hire an experienced Tampa car accident attorney to handle all of this on your behalf. That way, you can focus on healing, physically and emotionally from a traumatic car crash.
How You Can Benefit From Hiring a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
In addition to negotiations with insurance companies, there’s a lot more to a personal injury claim. You need to make sure you file your claim on time and fill out all the paperwork correctly. You also need to understand the laws that affect your claim and be able to collect evidence to support your claim. Documenting the totality of your injuries requires extensive investigating and evidence collection. Finally, you may not even be aware of the full extent of damages for which you’re entitled to seek reparations. For instance, many accident victims experience psychological damages such as:
- Reduced quality of life
- Fear of riding in cars
- And more
This is why hiring a skilled Tampa car accident attorney can be one of the best moves you make for your accident claim. They can help guide you through the complex legal process and help better your odds of winning the maximum compensation possible. You’ve probably suffered a significant amount of physical pain and missed work, all while experiencing mental anguish and other losses. Your attorney can help you identify all of the damages you’ve incurred and fight to help you win fair compensation for them.
Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Today For Your Sciatic Nerve Injury
Experiencing an injury after a car accident is a difficult experience that no one should go through alone. That’s why we want to help you. We’ll make sure you file your claim properly and on time. More importantly, we will fight aggressively to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for everything you’ve been through. We have recovered very generous payouts for our clients who have experienced sciatic nerve injuries and know how to strategically handle these types of cases.
Call us today for a free initial consultation.