The principle building block of your back is bone, which can have structural problems like degenerative disc disease, stenosis, facet arthrosis, osteophytes, bone spurs, foraminal narrowing, or osteoporosis. Social Security recognizes all these medically diagnosed injuries as possible disabling conditions.
Between the bones of your spine are discs that allow for movement of your spine. The disc is a pad of cartilage or disc that has a tough outer layer called the annulus and a soft inner layer called a nucleus. It is like a jelly-filled lifesaver.
When a herniated disc occurs, a portion of the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus. This can irritate the nerves of your spine, which carry electrical signals from your brain to your legs and feet.
The common symptoms of a herniated disc can include a radiating pain called sciatica, with tingling and numbness that starts in your buttock and travels down your leg. You might also have back pain and numbness with weakness of your legs.
DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE
Degenerative disc disease is an age-related condition that happens when one or more of the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column deteriorates or breaks down, leading to pain. Degenerative disc disease also can cause chronic back pain that can flare up with severe lower back pain, which can radiate into the hips down to the knee.
A narrowing of the spine called spinal stenosis can cause pain or numbness in your back and legs. It can result in weakness and a loss of sensation in your legs. Severe cases of spinal stenosis can result in bowel or bladder problems.
If in fact you or someone you care for are struggling with one of these conditions to the point where your/their ability to work has been compromised, contact Ellis & Associates at 1-800-Mr. Ellis for advice as to whether Social Security disability benefits may be an appropriate resource to pursue.