Herniated Disc Disability Benefits
Back pain is the most common debilitating condition in the United States:
- Almost half of the American workers experience back or neck pain each year
- Back pain accounts for over 250,000 days of lost work
- Workers lose approximately $50 billion a year in wages due to back pain
Many insurers limit back claimants from receiving long-term disability benefits. But an experienced Ocala FL disability attorney can fight for you. To learn more about qualifying for herniated disc disability benefits, contact CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC today.
Back Structure and Types of Pain
Many people confuse the spine with the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a series of nerves and nerve fibers that sends messages to the brain. It's the biggest nerve in your body.
The spine is the bone structure that protects your spinal cord. It is made up of 33 round bones called vertebrae that begin at the base of your neck and end just above your buttocks. Between each of these bones, there is a jelly-like tissue called an intervertebral disc that acts like the shock absorbers for your spine.
Your spine has three major sections: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar sections.
- Cervical spine (neck): These seven vertebrae begin at the base of the skull and end at your shoulders. This part of the spine holds up your head and is the entryway for your spinal cord.
- Thoracic spine: This is the largest portion of the spine and has 12 vertebrae. It extends from your shoulders to about your waist and supports your rib cage.
- Lumbar spine: Also referred to as the lower back, the lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae from the rib cage to the top of your buttocks. The vertebrae in the lumbar spine are larger than the others because they carry the majority of your body weight. It may be the first area of your spine where you experience pain as you age.
There is one small section, the sacral area of the spine, commonly referred to as your tailbone. The sacral spine consists of five tiny vertebrae and extends from the top to the middle section of your buttocks.
Causes of Back Pain
Your back carries your body weight and enables you to sit, stand, lift, walk, run, and can even affect bladder functioning. As you age, the weight of your body can cause the invertebral discs, and back muscles to break down and cause pain.
In addition to aging, back pain can develop as a result of accidents, injuries, obesity, poor posture, lack of exercise or because of underlying diseases such as arthritis or kidney infections.
The jelly-like tissue or invertebrate discs are constantly moving and rub against your spine and over time can herniate or bulge. Herniated and bulging discs are not the same, although they can occur at the same time. A herniated disc, the jelly-like substance splits open and allows its soft center to seep out. A bulging disc happens when the jelly-like substance pops out from between the discs creating a bulge.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
The symptoms of a herniated disc depend on the area of the spine where the herniation occurs. The pain usually occurs below the herniation.
- Cervical herniation: numbness and tingling down the back of the arm into the middle finger, pain turning your head, weakness in hands or arms
- Thoracic herniation: pain spreads around the body and affects one or both legs, numbness, muscle weakness, and upper back pain
- Lumbar herniation: may irritate your sciatic nerve and cause sharp pain that shoots down your leg, calves, thighs or buttocks, pins-and-needles sensation in your lower body, or pain that increases when moving
Disability Claim Limitations and Denials
Since herniated or bulging discs are common causes of debilitating back pain, insurance companies may include exclusions for back pain, severely limit long-term benefits, or may wrongfully deny benefits.
You may qualify for long-term disability benefits either because of your back pain or because of an underlying condition which causes back pain. For example, an autoimmune disorder that causes back pain may qualify you for disability benefits.
Insurers know you're in pain and may deny your claim hoping you won't fight the denial. They may also engage the services of an insurance-paid doctor to report your pain is not serious or is due to normal aging.
Learn More About Applying for Herniated Disc Disability Benefits
At CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC, we can help you with your herniated disc disability benefits claim. Contact us today to learn more.