The most common back conditions of veterans
Back pain can be extremely debilitating, causing sufferers to notice a significant impact on their daily lives and even be unable to carry out simple tasks such as driving. Therefore, it is a situation that is usually unchanging – benefits such as VA disability for lower back pain offer some small consolation for their life-altering condition.
The VA uses a special rating system to determine a veteran’s injuries or illness under any claims for benefits. However, many veterans are battling through incorrect ratings and denials against receiving the benefits they deserve.
It is a complex system which, therefore, often requires a specialist legal opinion to gain more clarity and justice for veterans.
Here is a quick guide to some of the most common types of back conditions many veterans suffer from as a consequence of their service:
Lumbosacral or cervical strain
This particular type of back condition is specific to the lower back and neck areas. It is usually caused by overuse or trauma and results in limited mobility. It can be extremely painful and could even mean that a muscle or tendon could have possibly torn or have been stretched too far.
Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
As its name suggests, DDD is caused by the degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae of the spine. This means they lose the cushioning between the discs and which can cause chronic pain in the back and neck.
It may also potentially cause numbness in the back and legs as well as herniation of the discs. This can all lead to impaired movement, pain, and tingling.
Vertebral fracture or dislocation
Fractures and dislocations can be caused by a range of different things, from falls to trauma. It is damage or a break within any part of the vertebrae, which can either cause severe spinal cord damage, or even paralysis, pain and difficulty walking.
In some cases, a vertebral fracture or dislocation can cause bone fragments from the injury to damage the spinal cord which may require surgery to fix it.
Back injuries in veterans can either be caused by a single incident or by repetitive damage caused over time. Time spent in the military can cause back injuries in several ways, whether they are on the front line or based in more of an administrative role.
For example, it could be that it was caused by gunshots or car accidents, or it may be that the veteran has been sat at a desk and suffered from repetitive strain. Whatever the reason, they will need to be able to prove that their condition has been as a direct consequence of their role within the military for them to be eligible to receive VA benefits.
There are many treatment options available for back injuries, depending on the specific type. Some require medications – which may be quite heavy and cause problems in performing daily tasks, such as driving – while others may be managed through physiotherapy and some may need surgery.