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It is possible to have a herniated disc and not know it

Many people work in occupations where they regularly lift objects, which can naturally lead to some discomfort at the end of a workday. California workers do not always know exactly when they may have received a work injury. For instance, it is possible to suffer from a herniated disc and not realize it for some time.

Some people do not even experience symptoms or could mistake symptoms for another issue. One of the symptoms of a herniated disc is muscle weakness. This is due to damage to the nerves that serve those muscles. This could manifest in a decrease in the ability to hold or lift objects. 

Another symptom is tingling or numbness due to the degeneration of the nerves leading to the affected body part. These symptoms may seem subtle -- at least at first. Pain in the appendages can be a more direct sign that something is wrong. 

If a disc is herniated in the neck, the pain is likely in the arms and shoulders. If the problem occurred in the lower back, the pain can be from the buttocks down to the feet. In either case, something as simple as a sneeze or cough can send shooting pain into the extremities.

A herniated disc can become debilitating, but workers' compensation benefits may be available to workers in California. These benefits can cover a myriad of expenses such as medical costs, disability and even a compensation package for lost income.  Since a single incident may not lead to such an injury, it may be necessary to provide proof that the injury is job-related. Obtaining assistance with this endeavor could help ensure the receipt of all the benefits to which a person is entitled.

Source: mayoclinic.org, "Herniated disk Symptoms", , Sept. 28, 2014

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