Social Security Disability: Musculoskeletal (back pain, neck pain, knee pain etc.)

Musculoskeletal disorders are generally pain or injuries to the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons of a claimant. In my practice, musculoskeletal disorders are likely the most common reason people are trying to get Social Security Disability. Musculoskeletal disorders cover everything from back and neck disorders like degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis to major dysfunction of a joint like the shoulder, knees, ankles, and hips. Amputations and burns are also considered musculoskeletal, though they are much less frequent from my experience.

When being considered for Social Security Disability, the Social Security Administration will consider to what degree your condition causes a loss of function. Social Security defines loss of function as the "inability to ambulate effectively on a sustained basis for any reason...or the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively on a sustained basis for any reason."

Common questions I ask to my clients suffering from musculoskeletal disorders are:

  • Where is your pain?

  • How often?

  • What does it feel like?

  • How does this affect your ability to stand, walk, sit, and lift?

  • Do you need a cane or walker to ambulate?

Imaging is helpful for Social Security Disability applications

Obviously, these are not all the relevant questions, but these are good examples and certainly questions Social Security will want to know. Besides just hearing your opinion, Social Security will also want to know your doctor's opinion as well as concrete imaging showing your disability. MRI's, x-rays, CT scans, and the like are crucial to proving you qualify for Social Security Disability.

As I said earlier, musculoskeletal issues are seemingly the most common complaints in Social Security Disability applications. All of us get bumps and bruises throughout life, but sometimes these reach the point where you can no longer work. This is when Social Security Disability can be helpful. If you are experiencing musculoskeletal pain or any other disability, and you need help with the Social Security Disability process, feel free to call the Scheidler Law office to talk to an experienced Social Security Disability attorney today.

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