Oh my aching back! Social Security Disability for low back pain and spinal cord disorders

Social Security disability can be awarded for disorders of the spinal cord.

In fact, Social Security has a specific listing with criteria that will show a disabling condition.

For the condition to be disabling medical records must show compression of the nerve root.   Spinal cord disorders fall into three categories for Social Security decision makers:

  • Evidence of nerve root compression due to any cause
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis

In this blog posting, we will look at the first category:  Nerve Root Compromise due to any abnormality of the spinal cord.

Nerve root compression occurs when the natural curvature of the spine becomes abnormal and the nerves flowing from the cord become affected.  The cause can be variable, from trauma to disease or a combination of factors.  Social Security provides some examples of conditions that can cause nerve root compression.

  • herniated nucleus pulposus,
  • spinal arachnoiditis,
  • spinal stenosis,
  • osteoarthritis,
  • degenerative disc disease,
  • facet arthritis,
  • vertebral fracture

But this list is not exclusive…there can be other causes.

Whatever the cause, this abnormality can not only cause pain but also limit functioning.   Once medical records establish impingement, compression, irritation, etc. of the nerve root, Social Security will also require the following other signs (most of which are documented after a physical examination.

  • neuro-anatomic distribution of pain,
  • limitation of motion of the spine,
  • motor loss (atrophy with associated muscle weakness or muscle weakness)
  • sensory or reflex loss and,
  • if there is involvement of the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test (sitting and supine).

The listing for spinal cord disorders is one of many other musculoskeletal impairments that Social Security will consider when they evaluate disability.  An experiencedsocial security disability lawyer can help you evaluate whether your health condition will be found disabling by Social Security.

There are many other medical conditions in the Social Security Listings of Impairment.  I hope to cover many of those conditions here on this blog.

If you need more help with Social Security Disability, Call toll-free at 1-800-481-0302.  You can also visit our website.