Spinal arachnoiditis is a disease that affects the neurological system by causing the arachnoid (a membrane surrounding the brain and spinal column) to become inflamed. This can be caused because of an adverse chemical reaction or because of bacterial or viral infections. It is also sometimes a side effect of back injuries, especially back injuries that cause the spinal column to compress.
There are several symptoms associated with spinal arachnoiditis, but different people with the condition may experience very different sets of symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms of spinal arachnoiditis include numbness and tingling in the extremities, pain in the nerves without other apparent causes (neuralgia), sexual dysfunction, and incontinence. Because it often affects the legs and lower back, it can also adversely affect a person’s ability to sit, stand, bend or walk.
Mobility in general is often a problem for those with spinal arachnoiditis because they are unable to walk without severe pain, but are also unable to effectively use mobility devices like wheelchairs because sitting for extended periods also causes a great deal of pain. This can make performing any kind of meaningful work impossible if the symptoms are severe enough.
Spinal arachnoiditis is a difficult condition to diagnose, and often isn’t diagnosed until it is fairly advanced. Some cases respond favorably to treatment, but there is no known cure for the condition.
As with any condition, your best bet for winning a Social Security Disability claim with spinal arachnoiditis is to stay under a physician’s care and make sure all physical restrictions, along with all treatment and its results, are fully documented. You may consider contracting a Social Security Disability lawyer to make sure that your claim is in order. Claimants who are represented are much more likely to have their Social Security Disability claims approved.
Spinal Arachnoiditis and Your Ability to Perform Physical Work
If you have severe symptoms of spinal arachnoiditis, you will have little trouble proving that you are incapable of performing physical labor. If your symptoms are less severe, you will need to show that they are serious enough to prevent you from performing meaningful work.
Anything which hinders your ability to stand, walk, lift, bend, push or pull will be considered by the SSA when determining whether you are capable of performing any physical work. To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must show that you are incapable of performing any work which you have ever done previously, especially during the past 15 years. You will also need to show that you are incapable of other physical work that is available and which you are qualified for.
All restrictions should be stated in your medical records in terms of what you can and cannot do, including the amount of time you can stand, the amount of weight you can lift, and any other specific limitations to your daily activities which your spinal arachnoiditis causes.
Spinal Arachnoiditis and Your Ability to Perform Sedentary Work
If your spinal arachnoiditis causes you to have difficulty sitting for extended periods of time (and it usually will), you will be able to establish that you are incapable of performing sedentary work. By the SSA’s definition, you are incapable of performing sedentary work if you are unable to sit in one place for six hours at a time. You should also make sure to include any limitations to your fine motor skills that are caused by spinal arachnoiditis, as these will also be considered when determining whether or not you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Many Social Security Disability claims are denied. Over two thirds of claimants are faced with the daunting proposition of going through a lengthy appeals process. If you find yourself in this position, contact a Social Security Disability lawyer. Having qualified representation makes the Social Security Disability less stressful and offers you your best chance of having your claim ultimately approved.