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Spine Disorder

Disorders of the Spine: SSA’s Analysis of a Severe Impairment

Spine disorders include degenerative disc disease, herniated nucleus pulposus, arachnoiditis, stenosis, osteoarthritis, facet arthritis, and vertebral fractures. Though there are many different spine conditions, each with its own set of symptoms, SSA’s analysis of these conditions is primarily the same. The disorders of the spine are grouped together under one title, and in order to win a disability claim due to any of these spine conditions, an individual must prove the following:
 
  1. Nerve root compression
  2. Limited range of motion of the spine
  3. Atrophy or muscle weakness
  4. Sensory or reflex loss
  5. If there is involvement of the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test (sitting and supine). This test is performed by a doctor during routine examinations.
 Often, it is not enough just to say that you are experiencing symptoms above. These symptoms need to be evidenced in MRI’s, x-rays, nerve conduction tests, and doctor examinations. Additionally, an individual suffering from back pain must also prove that their disability impedes their ability to stand or walk. Often, individuals that have severe difficulties with standing and walking are prescribed assistive devices such as canes or walkers.
 
Before applying for SSD or SSI benefits due to a spine condition, make sure your medical record reflects your symptoms. Work with your doctor to get tests done which will serve as appropriate evidence for your case. It is best to consult with an experienced attorney before applying in order to make sure that your case is as strong as it can possibly be.
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