Post Accident Cervical Disc Herniation

Dear Medical Solutions,
I had a car accident last March and had right shoulder and arm pain that ran down to my fingers. I went to the emergency room after the accident and the Doctor told me I had a shoulder sprain and gave me pain medication. It felt better when I took the medication initially, but the pain gradually got worse. I went to the General Practitioner who took and x-ray of my shoulder and told me it was fine. He gave me more pain medication and told me that the pain would go with rest and time. I would have good days and bad days, but the pain was bearable. Last month I had a cold, was coughing hard, and one time I coughed my shoulder and arm pain increased, and I experienced severe neck and right arm pain. I went to the emergency room and they did an MRI of my neck which showed that I had a slipped disc, pinching the nerve. Could this disc problem have been there since the motor vehicle accident?

Absolutely. The symptoms you were experiencing after the motor vehicle accident were probably due to the disc injury. Often times a person could have an accident such as whiplash injury, and could have a “progressive slipping” of a disc. A patient may present with minimal to no neck pain or stiffness and have predominately shoulder and/or arm pain. There are certain orthopedic tests that should be performed during the examination
after a person sustains a motor vehicle accident that will confirm or negate the possibility of a disc injury. If these tests are not performed, often times disc injuries are undetected and a seriousness of the injury is not discovered until the symptoms increase.

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