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One of the most frequently cited injuries by claimants seeking Social Security disability is lower back pain. The issue that is often confronted when there is back pain, problems standing, sitting, bending and lifting, and muscle spasms is that there might be an absence of medical proof that there is a problem.
Medical professionals are in agreement that medical imagery and x-rays do not always fall in line with the symptoms a claimant is suffering from. The SSA acknowledges in the Listings for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries that there might be an absence of correlation between what is found via the test and how well the joint functions. Even with that terminology in the Listings, the Administrative Law Judge will sometimes issue a denial of benefits when the claimant is suffering from lower back pain, since the examination does not support assertions of limitations and pain. The ALJ might also refer to the absence of limits in lower back (lumbar) movement to deny the claim. There is also a lack of correlation between the range of motion in the lumbar region and how much a person can exert him or herself. This is also referred to as residual functional capacity. Research shows that people without an impairment in the back might show a significant variation in range of motion in the area. Numerous issues – age, sex, when the test is conducted – can influence this. What is more important in daily activities is spinal stability. There are also times when the ALJ will deny a claim if there is a medical report saying that the RFC is severely limited. Your attorney can deal with this by asking that the physician give details as to why the diagnosis was made.
If you need help with your disability claim, call the John Paul Oreh Law Office at (216) 896-0935 to speak to a disability attorney in Cleveland today.