It is said that you don’t realize how critical your back is until you hurt yourself. Many veterans know this to be true, as serious back injuries are unfortunately common among service men and women. Although most people will encounter at least one minor back problem at some point in their life, serious back injuries can seriously limit the way a person lives their life.
Serious back injuries are painful and limit the way a person moves. Sprains, strains, and herniated discs are just a few of the most common types of back injuries. Fractured vertebrae can also permanently change a person’s way of life.
Any back injury that jeopardizes a person’s long-term ability to earn a living or spend quality time with family and loved ones can be considered serious. Understanding the VA disability classification for back injuries can help veterans put their injury into context.
VA Disability Ratings for Back Injuries
Back injuries are often classified based on the veteran’s spinal range of motion. The range of motion of both the cervical spine and the thoracolumbar spine will be measured, and a score will be assigned based on the measurements. Of course, things like periods of disability can also be factored into the rating.
Not all back injuries limit a person’s range of motion. Arthritis and intervertebral disc syndrome are classified according to the degree of disability of the veteran, while people with sciatic nerve palsy are classified according to their degree of paralysis.
Every patient is different, so the VA disability classification for degenerative disc disease can differ dramatically from veteran to veteran based on the VA disability classification for low back pain.
Common causes of spinal injuries
When a person joins the military, he volunteers his body and mind for use in dire circumstances. Losing a limb is perhaps the most common injury associated with combat, but many service men and women suffer from afflictions that are easier to overlook.
Some return home with spinal injuries that are due to running while wearing heavy armor, while others suffer such injuries in motor vehicle incidents while on active duty. Most of the time when an injury occurs, it is not possible for a medical facility to see you for X-rays or to assess the severity of the injury.
Because these types of injuries are not directly caused by an enemy attack, veterans are not awarded the Purple Heart or included in the lists of service men and women injured in combat zones. Still, these spinal injuries can have a long-term and sometimes permanent impact on the veteran.
Specific challenges of back injuries
When a person injures his foot, he may find himself off duty and on bed rest while he recovers. A pair of crutches or a wheelchair and help them move while their foot heals. However, for those with back injuries, the solution is rarely that simple.
Because doctors cannot see tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the same way that they can see bone fractures, back injuries are often incredibly difficult to treat. Rather than a simple prescription for bed rest or medication, medical professionals must go the trial and error route, measuring their patient’s reaction to targeted and sometimes painful treatment. Even exercise, commonly recommended for people recovering from accidents, can exacerbate back injuries.
Since the spine is so important to the way the human body moves, even activities like sleeping, walking, and sitting can be painful for a person with a back injury. Computer time, stress, and gentler exercise can jeopardize the progress of a person with a back injury.
These injuries affect virtually everything a person does and can worsen in the least expected way, making them one of the most challenging afflictions a veteran can be diagnosed with.
How Gumps Group Can Help
If you are a veteran who suffers a back injury or spinal damage from your service in the military, the Gumps Legal can help. No matter what the VA disability classification is for your back injury, we can provide information about your claim and offer guidance for your next step.