Social Security Claims for Back & Spine Disorders

Disorders So Debilitating That You Can No Longer Work!

Back and spine disorders often are so debilitating that people can no longer work!
They wonder if social security disability income benefits are the answer. As a social security lawyer I have seen people suffer with spinal column derangements that left them a shell of themselves. After working for many years they were not able to support their families. They were existing on heavy pain killers. Yet were denied social security disability benefits. They came to me confused , angry and hopeless. My job is to give them, and you hope.

Lower Back Pain

Our Goal is to Get Approval for Disability Insurance Benefits – That You May Be Entitled To!

This information will provide you with answers as how to get social security disability benefits for a back injury, herniated disc or as social security calls them musculoskeletal disorders.

What Back Afflictions and Disabilities Does Social Security Recognize

Social security recognizes back and spine injuries that they call medical impairments. There must be some physical restriction of basic work activities such as standing, lifting , walking and sitting. Social security has a listing that deals with certain musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. There are certain objective findings and symptoms you must show to fit into a listing. If you meet or equal a listing social security will find you disabled as long as you are not working.

However if you do not meet or equal a listing you can still be found disabled and win social security benefits if your residual functional capacity is such that you cannot do any jobs that exist in significant numbers. Your credibility will be crucial as will the opinions of your treating doctors.

The Answers To What Are Some of The More Common Severe Back Injuries

By reviewing the federal governments statement on the musculoskeletal social security listing you can learn what they consider the more serious spinal injuries. Although there are quite a few injuries listed here including amputations the primary listed back conditions are in listing 1.o4.

The named disorders of the spine are: herniated nucleus pulposis, spinal arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, vertebral fracture. These conditions must result in an effect on the nerve root or spinal cord.

There are also certain symptoms that must be clinically shown.

A. You must either have:

  • Evidence of nerve root compression
  • Neuro-anatomic distribution of pain
  • Limitation of motion of the Spine
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sensory or reflex loss
  • Positive Straight leg raising test if the low back is involved


B. Spinal arachnoiditis with severe burning and the need to move about every 2 hours


C. Low back spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication, with pain and weakness, and resulting in inability to walk effectively.

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Glossary of Medical Terms To Help You Understand the Diagnosis (The Big words)

Let’s go through these individual medical illnesses afflictions and impairments to try to understand them.

Herniated Nucleus Pulposus Defined

Nucleus pulposus consists of a network of delicate collagenous fibers in a mucoprotein gel rich in polysaccharide; It is the inside of the disc often called the jelly like substance. A herniation may involve a simple bulging of the disc or complete rupture of a portion of the nucleus pulposus through the anulus fibrosus. This is the cushion part of the disc that sits between the two bony vertebraes and acts as a cushion and shock absorber.

Arachnoiditis Defined

It is an inflammation of the arachnoid lining—one of the 3 linings that surround the brain and spinal cord. This inflammation causes constant irritation, scarring, and binding of nerve roots and blood vessels

Spinal Stenosis Defined

It is the narrowing of the spinal canal and/or the neural foramina often caused by degenerative disc disease.

Osteoarthritis Defined

It is chronic irreversible degenerative disease of articular cartilage.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is part of the natural process of growing older. Unfortunately, as we age, our intervertebral discs lose their flexibility, elasticity, and shock absorbing characteristics. The fibrous outer portion of the disc, called the annulus fibrosis, becomes brittle and is more prone to tearing. At the same time, the soft gel-like center of the disc, called the nucleus pulposus, starts to dry out and shrink. The combination of damage to the intervertebral discs, the development of bone spurs, and a gradual thickening of the ligaments that support the spine can all contribute to degenerative arthritis of the spine.

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What Evidence Do I Need To Prove Disabling Back Spine Injury

Go back into the social security Code of federal regulations or other sources to see what evidence you need to prove these medical conditions, diagnosis, signs and symptoms. I point these out to the Administrative law judge. Here are some of the evidentiary materials you want to present.

CT Scans, Bone Scans, MRI and x-rays are critical.

A physical examination must include a detailed description of the orthopedic, neurological, and other findings appropriate to the specific impairment being evaluated. These physical findings must be determined on the basis of objective observation during the examination and not simply a report of the individual’s own statements.

Examination of the spine should include a detailed description of gait, range of motion of the spine. Other appropriate tension signs, motor and sensory abnormalities, muscle spasm, when present, and deep tendon reflexes. Observations of the individual during the examination should be reported; e.g., how he or she gets on and off the examination table. Inability to walk on the heels or toes, to squat, or to arise from a squatting position, when appropriate, may be considered evidence of significant motor loss. However, a report of atrophy is not acceptable as evidence of significant motor loss without circumferential measurements of both thighs and lower legs, or both upper and lower arms, as appropriate, at a stated point above and below the knee or elbow given in inches or centimeters. Additionally, a report of atrophy should be accompanied by measurement of the strength of the muscle(s) in question generally based on a grading system of 0 to 5 , with 0 being complete loss of strength and 5 being maximum strength. A specific description of atrophy of hand muscles is acceptable without measurements of atrophy but should include measurements of grip and pinch strength.  (This is how social security itself describes their examination.)

Measurements of joint motion are based on the techniques described in the chapter on the extremities, spine, and pelvis in the current edition of the “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” published by the American Medical Association.

A specific description of the drugs or treatment given (including surgery), dosage, frequency of administration, and a description of the complications or response to treatment should be obtained. The effects of treatment may be temporary or long-term. As such, the finding regarding the impact of treatment must be based on a sufficient period of treatment to permit proper consideration or judgment about future functioning.

Social Security Attorney CastelliLet us help you claim the social security disability benefits you may be qualified for. Our goal is to Help You!. Call now for assistance, no obligation, 800-447-6549, or complete the form below:

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Proving Your Disability Claim Is Complicated – Get Help!

By now you may feel way over your head. You are! But there is hope and help.

This is a very detailed area involving federal rules and regulations. This area is peculiarly suited for an experienced social security attorney and there is no fee unless you win. Then the fee for most social security lawyers comes out of your back benefits. The evidence has proven that an experienced social security lawyer can increase your chances of winning your application for benefits.

So contact Anthony Castelli today to get his legal help, without obligation.

Social Security Attorney Anthony Castelli
8170 Corporate Park Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45242
Phone: 513-621-2345

Duke University Wheeless Textbook of Medicine – The Spinal Condition resource Center
Disability Evaluation Under Social Security For Musculoskeletal disorders