Spinal Arachnoiditis can be very painful and even debilitating. As such, it might make you eligible for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. However, for the best chance of obtaining the funds you deserve, your application must be really persuasive.
Arachnoiditis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
What causes this disease? Viral or bacterial infections can lead to spinal Arachnoiditis, as can spinal injuries and exposure to harmful chemicals. If you’ve had surgery or another procedure on your spine, one of its complications might be Arachnoiditis.
Spinal compression can bring about this disorder as well. Many things can compress the spine, including arthritis, tumors, bone spurs and ruptured discs. Some patients are never able to figure out what caused their Arachnoiditis.
Spinal Arachnoiditis frequently causes numbness, tingling, weakness and pain in the legs and low back. That pain is often chronic and excruciating. Muscle spasms, cramps and twitches are common with this disease, and a small percentage of Arachnoiditis patients find that their legs become paralyzed. Other symptoms include sexual dysfunction and diminished bowel or bladder control.
Making matters worse, there’s no cure for Arachnoiditis right now, and it’s a difficult disease for doctors to treat. Some patients have severe symptoms, while others experience relatively mild discomfort. For certain patients, the symptoms get more intense over time. Spinal Arachnoiditis is erratic. Your physician won’t be able to tell you how long you’ll suffer from its effects.
Your course of treatment will probably revolve around pain management. Your doctor might prescribe medications and recommend heat applications, massage, electrical stimulation, physical therapy, daily exercise or some combination thereof.
You might meet with a psychotherapist to work through the stress and other mental health consequences of your Spinal Arachnoiditis. It’s also possible that a surgical operation could alleviate your physical pain, if only temporarily.
Putting Together a Social Security Application
Spinal Arachnoiditis is one of the entries in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) impairment listing manual, which is often called the “Disability Blue Book.” Thus, if you have this disorder, you may qualify for government benefits.
Specifically, you have to prove that at least one of your spinal nerve roots has been adversely impacted. A CT scan, biopsy, MRI or other diagnostic tool can provide that confirmation. On top of that, your disorder must cause acute and frequent pain, so much so that you can’t keep your body in the same position for more than two hours.
To bolster your position, then, supply as much evidence as you can. Include in your file the results of every Arachnoiditis-related medical test you’ve taken. Insert your doctor’s notes from every recent appointment, too.
To make those notes convincing, explain your problems in detail every time you see your physician. Each day, use a journal to record how long your pain, tingling and other symptoms last and the severity of those episodes. When you review this information with your doctor, he or she will write a lot of it down. Thus, his or her official notes will be much more accurate and definite.
You can also ask your doctor to fill out a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form, which you could add to your folder. Your RFC form will specify how well and how long you can stand, sit, lie down, carry weight, kneel, handle objects, bend over and more. This evaluation can take approximately an hour to complete, and it often carries a great deal of weight with SSA officials.
Don’t forget to send in all of your treatment records: your prescriptions, dates of procedures, and notes from your physical therapist and other specialists. You could also submit your own signed statement. In that document, you’d discuss how Arachnoiditis has negatively impacted your life, career and ability to perform day-to-day tasks.
Have you already lost your job due to Spinal Arachnoiditis? If so, you might ask your former employer to write a statement, one that discusses your medical situation, and how it’s prevented you from working.
Finally, an attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability rights can assist you in gathering the above materials and presenting them in the most compelling way possible. And, if your claim is denied on the first try, he or she will know how to appeal the decision.
Yes, Spinal Arachnoiditis can sap your energy and make you less mobile. But it doesn’t have to take away your happiness or optimism. With pain management treatments and the support of loved ones, you can enjoy a full life and plan for the future. And disability benefits can provide the financial foundation on which to build that future.
Are you suffering from Arachnoiditis, and are you looking for legal expertise? The Good Law Group is standing by.