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3 Back Conditions That May Qualify for Social Security Disability


Given the important role of the spine in providing structure, flexibility, and movement throughout the entire body, certain back conditions can have a tremendous impact on your ability to work. In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) receives more SSDI/SSI applications based upon back problems than any other disabling medical condition. For many individuals filing claims, the process is relatively straightforward because they meet an item in the SSA’s Blue Book, i.e., the Listing of Impairments affecting the Musculoskeletal System.

However, many applicants will encounter substantial challenges in obtaining SSDI/SSI benefits when trying to show that their back condition equals a Blue Book listing. For this reason, it is best to retain a Maryland Social Security disability lawyer to assist with the claims process and ensure your application contains the essential details. You may also find it helpful to review the primary back conditions that may qualify you for disability benefits.

  1. Spinal Arachnoiditis: The arachnoid is a membrane that surrounds and protects the spinal cord, but it can sustain inflammation from a medical procedure, infection, compression of the nerve roots around the spine, or other trauma. Arachnoiditis can lead to chronic, pulsing pain in the lower back and extremities, as well as stinging or tingling in the hands. In severe cases, it can impair bowel control and limit the amount of time a person can sit.
  1. Spinal Nerve Root Compression: The spine contains 31 pairs of nerves and roots, which lead to severe pain when outside factors or trauma cause excessive pressure upon them. The result is limited range of motion, lack of sensation and reflex in your limbs, and weakening of muscle tissue. Nerve root compression is also accompanied by considerable pain at the affected site, as well as radiating pain.
  1. Spinal Stenosis: This condition involves a narrowing of the spinal canal, which in turn compresses the spinal cord and nerve tissue. Spinal stenosis can result naturally as part of the aging process, but it may also be caused by trauma. A person suffering from spinal stenosis could experience pain in the lower back, buttocks, and thighs, since it primary affects the lumbar and cervical spine. For severe cases, you might require assistive devices to walk.

Back Problems That May Equal an SSA Listing: Spinal arachnoiditis, stenosis, and nerve root compression are items listed in the Blue Book, so you can qualify for SSDI/SSI benefits by meeting the description through your medical records. However, you may still equal a listing – and be eligible for disability – if you have other conditions that cause one of the three medical conditions above. Potential options include:

  • Scoliosis;
  • Herniated or bulging discs;
  • One or more fractured vertebrae;
  • Degenerative joint disease; or
  • Facet arthritis.

Discuss Your Claim with Our Maryland Social Security Disability Attorneys 

For more information on getting SSDI/SSI disability benefits for a back condition, please contact the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC. We can set up a free consultation to review your circumstances and guide you through the claims process.


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