Back injuries are more frequently cited by claimants seeking Social Security disability benefits than just about any other injury or condition. Because back injuries are so common, your Ocala disability lawyer is aware that despite the many symptoms related to back pain, medical examinations and testing may not show anything abnormal.
Doctors usually agree that medical imaging, x-rays and other tests don’t always match with a claimant’s symptoms. An Ocala disability attorney has seen instances in which a person has imaging tests that show significant degeneration of the bones and joints, yet experiences minor symptoms or no symptoms at all. However, other people may have tests showing what appear to be limited problems, but experience substantial pain.
In the musculoskeletal Listings, the Social Security Administration (SSA) notes the absence of correlation between what is found in medical imaging and how the joint functions. Despite this, administrative law judges often deny benefits when the claimant claims low back pain because findings on the x-rays don’t support a claim of exertional limitations. This is a challenge that your Ocala disability lawyer must face when representing clients with low back pain.
Your Ocala disability lawyer will explain that another reason that claims may be denied is if the ALJ doesn’t see substantial limitations in the range of motion of the claimant’s lower back. However, there is a limited connection between lower back (lumbar) range of motion and the RFC (residual functional capacity—the ability exert oneself to work). Studies have indicated that people who have not had back problems show a varied range of motion in the lower back. Your Ocala disability attorney will be aware that there are many factors that can affect the range of motion, such as age, sex, and the time of the day the test is administered.
If you or a loved one have questions regarding how medical imaging results might impact your claim, speak to an experienced Ocala disability lawyer. Contact the CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC at 352-304-5300 today.