I often see clients with neck problems. The diagnosis could be herniated discs, disc bulges or many other conditions. Many people don’t even know what exactly is wrong with their neck. Here a few of the most common problems:
Herniated Discs– this occurs when a disc degenerates and breaks down- the inner core leaks out through the outer portion of the disc. Herniated discs can be mild or they can be severe. It’s the severe herniated discs that are usually the most painful although people can still experience neck pain if they have mild herniated discs. Many of my clients end up seeing pain specialists in order to deal with their pain. They also try chiropractic manipulations, massage therapy, cervical injections, medications, acupuncture and other therapies in order to cope with the pain. Sometimes the therapies do not work and the clients have to resort to surgery. However, surgery doesn’t necessarily alleviate all of the pain. It may alleviate some of it, but the pain may still exist.
Bulging Discs– a bulging disc is different because the disc simply bulges outside the space it normally occupies between your vertebrae, it doesn’t rupture. Like herniated discs, bulging discs can be mild or severe and they can also cause neck pain.
The names of the above conditions are not important. What is important is how your neck pain limits your ability to work. It will depend on your age, education, past work experience and the limitations caused by your neck. If you are an older individual you may meet what is called a grid rule. You can look at the definition of grid rules here. If you are a younger individual then you may have to show why you cannot work a sedentary job in which you sit most of the time.
How do neck problems prevent a person from working? Many of my clients cannot look down for any period of time and/or are unable to rotate their head. Neck problems can also cause crippling headaches which interfere with the ability to work a full-time, 40 hours per week, job.
You may also meet or equal what the social security administration calls a listing impairment. You can find the listing for spinal impairments here:
As you can tell if you are experiencing neck problems you may or may not be a candidate for social security disability depending on a number of different factors.
Please remember that this is just general information, and everyone’s situation is unique. This article should not be considered legal advice.