Patients with a herniated disc may be unable to work because of their condition and its related complications. Patients who find themselves unable to work due to their herniated disc may qualify for long term disability (LTD) benefits. The insurance company will review their claim to see if they qualify under the conditions of that plan.
What is a Herniated Disc?
The spine is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. These bones have soft, flexible discs in between them to cushion and allow painless movement. When one of these discs slides out of place—whether because it has ruptured or simply fallen out—the condition is called a herniated disc.
A disc herniation may also be called a protrusion, extrusion, prolapse, rupture, a “slipped disc,” or bulging disc.
Disc herniations would not cause any real problem on their own, but when they move from their normal positions, they tend to press against nearby spinal nerves. This is what causes pinched nerves that vary in their severity of pain.
The Pain From a Herniated Disc
Many of the people who get herniated discs are already suffering from spinal stenosis, a condition that limits the space surrounding the spinal nerves. Herniated discs can also occur because of an accident like a bad fall or simply because of extended straining. Everyone’s spinal discs get worn out and less elastic as we age, but discs should not cause pain unless ruptured or herniated.
How much pain one experiences with a herniated disc entirely depends on its position. If the disc presses on a nerve, constant pain in the neck, back, arms, or legs can result. It could also cause only occasional pain in affected areas, or only get worse with any straining. In extreme cases, loss of bladder and bowel control may be experienced. This is one sign of of cauda equina syndrome, a serious neurological condition that requires immediate emergency treatment.
Other symptoms of a herniated disc can include shooting pains in the stomach or limbs, intense muscular pain or weakness, or just a tingling numbness in the affected area. If a ruptured disc is not pressing on a nerve, little or no pain may be experienced.
Working with an experienced disability attorney will give you the best chance of getting the benefits you deserve for your herniated disc. Even if you have been denied benefits, that does not mean your fight is over. Many people are denied benefits the first time they apply. You have the right to file an appeal and try to get more information that may help your case. Getting expert help is often the difference between being denied and being approved for benefits.
While the process can be daunting, your experienced disability attorney will be able to guide you through the process. They do not get paid until you win your case. You can seek help without worrying about upfront costs or unexpected bills.
The Ortiz Law Firm has successfully represented people in disability cases across the United States. If you would like to talk to an experienced disability lawyer about your herniated disc and its impact on your ability to work, call us at (888) 321-8131. We would be happy to evaluate your case and to discuss how to help you through the appeal process.