Do you suffer from excruciating back pain? Is it making it difficult for you to work?
Let’s look at the qualifications of social security disability.
What Is Pseudoclaudication?
The term pseudoclaudication is used to describe a condition known as lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), which causes inflammation of the nerves emanating from a person’s spinal cord. This condition occurs when your spinal canal narrows in the lower part of your back. Bone spurs, bulging disks, or a thickening of the ligaments in the back of the spinal canal may all be to blame. The most common symptoms of pseudoclaudication include tingling or cramping in the lower back, the hips, legs, or buttocks. You may also feel heaviness or weakness in your legs.
The roots of the nerves that control the movement of your legs pass through narrow areas in the spinal canal. If those passages become too narrow, it may put pressure on the roots of those nerves, causing pain. The pain could intensify while standing or walking and can often be relieved by sitting or lying down.
How to Qualify for a Disability with a Spinal Disorder Including Pseudoclaudication
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits related to pseudoclaudication, you first must be diagnosed by a physician with one of the following disorders:
Nerve Root Compression
Nerve Root Compression is usually caused by a herniated disc or a pinched nerve in the back. This condition can result in limited motion in their spine, muscle weakness, or reflex loss; all of which play into the discussion of how the symptoms might prevent you from earning a wage.
This disorder results from inflammation of the arachnoid – one of the several membranes that protect the nerves of the spinal cord. One of the keys to seeking Social Security Disability when you have this condition is to ensure that you have a confirmed diagnosis by a physician performing; either a tissue biopsy or an MRI scan.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
This condition may be caused by degenerative arthritis. To qualify for SSDI benefits with a diagnosis of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis you usually must have limited motor control, muscle weakness accompanied by pseudoclaudication, or spinal stenosis. This condition must typically be documented by a T scan, an MRI scan, or an x-ray.
Lumbar stenosis may be treated with anti-inflammatory medications. However, some doctors may suggest surgical treatment for these types of conditions if other non-surgical treatments have failed to work for the patient.
What Medical Evidence is Required For Pseudoclaudication?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will request/need your medical records from the doctor that is currently treating you for pseudoclaudication or related conditions. These records should include an imaging test that confirms the diagnosis of spinal stenosis.
The records should reflect that a doctor has done a complete and detailed physical exam; including, testing your reflexes, muscle strength, range of motion, and your ability to walk, bend, squat and rise.
Medical records should also show whether nerve root compression is causing pain, muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, or limited range of motion.
Other Considerations for SSDI Claims for Pseudoclaudication
When filling out an application for disability benefits, you need to include descriptions of how your back pain and impairment affects your ability to work. You also need to describe how it impacts your overall daily life. Do not forget how back considerations may cause you to be experiencing behavioral health conditions, such as depression or anxiety due to chronic pain. Be sure to list all of your symptoms that you are currently experiencing. For help, here is a step by step discussion about disability claims and appeals.
Clearly, there are many hoops to jump through when back conditions are the basis for a Social Security Disability claim (or appeal). Reading blogs like this can be helpful in gaining a better understanding. We hope it is at least. However, reaching out to a good disability attorney is also something you should consider.