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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Back Pain and Results of Medical Imaging

  • Published: January 29, 2013

Your Ocala Social Security disability lawyer knows that back injuries, more than almost any other injury or condition, are the reason most Social Security claimants seek disability benefits. Back pain is challenging to prove because while claimants may suffer from muscle spasms, pain, and limited ability to sit, stand, lift or bend, the medical evidence may not show serious abnormalities.

Low Correlation of Back Pain and Medical Imaging Results

The medical community acknowledges that often a person’s symptoms of pain do not match up with medical results (such as x-rays or medical imaging). Some patients with severe pain show only mild abnormalities, while others with x-ray evidence of severe joint and bone degeneration experience mild or no pain. Even the Social Security Administration recognizes that “there is a relative lack of correlation between findings on imaging and function of the joint.” Despite this acknowledgement, Administrative law judges often deny benefits based on “mild” x-ray findings.

Sometimes, a lack of significant limitation in low back (lumbar) range of motion is also used as justification to deny claims even though there is little correlation between residual functional capacity (RFC, or the ability to exert oneself to do work) and lumbar range of motion. Ocala Social Security disability lawyers are aware of studies that show a large variation in lumbar range of motion is exhibited in people with no back impairment.  Even when a treating physician has documented a significantly limited RFC, administrative law judges sometimes deny benefits. To counteract this, your Ocala Social Security disability lawyer needs to ask the physician to explain why the diagnosis is supported by the findings and why the medical findings led he or she to conclude your RFC was limited.

If you have questions about your disability claim, you can contact an experienced and knowledgeable Ocala Social Security disability lawyer at the CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC at 352-304-5300. The first consultation is always free.

Claudeth Henry

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