Upland disability attorney explains how to prove your back pain

As an Upland disability attorney, I have handled many claims for Social Security disability benefits based on back pain. These kinds of cases can be the most difficult to win because Social Security requires objective medical evidence that is consistent with the reported pain, and a claimant may have more severe pain than the objective evidence would suggest.

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Sometimes a claim of back problems is supported by clear medical evidence, such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, bone scans, or lumbar myelograms. But in some cases, a claimant’s back pain cannot be shown by this kind of testing, and the claimant must rely on a combination of objective evidence and the symptoms that he or she experiences.

Pain is subjective and can be hard to measure, and Social Security won’t take your reports of pain into consideration unless your pain is consistent with the objective medical evidence. No matter how severe your back pain is, Social Security will not find you disabled based only on your statements about your pain.

Provide medical records and reports

To prove that you have disabling back pain, you must provide Social Security with medical records that support your claim. Medical reports must be based on a doctor’s observations of you during a physical examination. An ideal doctor’s report describes:

  • Your muscle strength, sensation, and reflexes.
  • Problems with gait, numbness, and muscle spasms.
  • Your ability to walk on your heels and toes, bend your back, and squat.
  • The nature and location of your pain.
  • Activities that increase or decrease your pain.
  • Prescribed treatment, including type of medication, dosage, and frequency.
  • Your daily activities.
  • Depression or other mental disorders, if any, triggered by your back pain.

If you have had surgery, you should provide Social Security with a copy of those records, including operative notes and pathology reports.

Seek and follow treatment

In evaluating your statements about your back pain, Social Security will look at whether you have sought treatment, how often you have seen a doctor, and whether you have followed the prescribed treatment. If you have not, you must have a good explanation, such as an inability to afford medical care or an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication. I recommend Clear Lake Probate lawyer Joanne Badeaux, visit her website here.

Keep records of your condition

When you fill out forms for Social Security and at your hearing before an administrative law judge, you will be asked to describe your back pain and how those symptoms have affected your ability to carry out ordinary day-to-day activities. You will also be asked to describe the medications you are taking and how you respond to them, and any other kinds of treatment you have received. The best way to keep track of all of this information is by writing it down in a notebook on a daily basis.

Social Security attorney in southern California helps clients prove back pain claims

During my years practicing as a southern California Social Security attorney, I have learned what it takes to prove to Social Security that a client is disabled due to back pain. These are challenging cases, and require attention to detail and thorough evidence gathering. We know what it takes to win your claim.

If you are not already represented by a California Social Security disability lawyer and would like an evaluation of your case, please describe your claim using the form to the right, and I will respond promptly. Or you may contact me.

Upland, California disability attorney