One of the most pervasive causes of disability for Houston residents is a back injury, especially a lower back injury. The Social Security Administration recognized back injuries as a cause of disability, but the requirements are strict, and, like other disabling conditions, must be proven by creditable medical evidence.

Back injuries are classified as injuries to the musculoskeletal system. Back injuries must satisfy the general conditions for such injuries. These include loss of function due to bone or joint deformity or destruction of a joint from any cause. A musculoskeletal injury must make the patient unable to walk effectively on a sustained basis. The general condition for all disabling conditions also applies: the condition must either expected to last or have lasted for at least twelve months or expected to result in death, which is an unlikely prognosis for most back injuries.

A claim for SSDI benefits for back pain must be supported by creditable medical evidence, including an examination of the spine and one or more medical images. Because many back injuries respond to treatment over time, the medical record must include examinations over an extended period. The SSA recognizes three general classes of spinal injury as supporting a disability benefits claim.

The first is evidence of nerve root compression with neuro-anatomic distribution of pain, limitation of spinal motion and motor loss. The second is spinal arachnoiditis, accompanied by surgical notes or a pathological report. And the final is lumbar spinal stenosis resulting non-radiating pain and inability to walk effectively

The essential requirement is that the back pain must be medically demonstrated to have resulted from one of the conditions enumerated in the SSA regulations. Merely alleging that “my back hurts” will result in the denial of the claim. Back injuries are complex medical conditions, and anyone who is considering seeking SSDI benefits for back pain may wish to consult a lawyer who is experienced in handling SSDI claims for advice on the required evidence and the legal standard for judging disability and permanence. This can help ensure the necessary details and documentation are provided in a completed application.

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