Cervical or lumbar radiculopathy is the clinical term used to describe the condition when the nerves in the spine are compressed or pinched. The pain of cervical or lumbar radiculopathy is not like a simple backache or stiff neck.
It is debilitating, and people with severe radiculopathy have trouble walking, standing up, lying down, and moving. It is next to impossible to find a comfortable position. If their work requires them to stand up and hover over a patient like a dentist, they cannot do so. If they are in a high-pressure sales environment, they cannot concentrate on their presentation because of the pain. And if they are in any occupation requiring physicality, including movement, climbing, or lifting, from an architect who visits job sites or an engineer at a manufacturing facility, they cannot work.
In a very simplified explanation, the cervical vertebrae and nerves are located on the top of the spine, and the person with cervical radiculopathy feels sharp pain, tingling, burning pain or weakness, or shooting pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, or fingers. It is described on this webpage from UCLA Health. When the nerve being compressed are in the lower spine, where the lumbar vertebrae are found, the pain will be felt in the lower back, hips, legs, ankles, and feet. Sometimes a person loses the ability to move their toes. The prestigious Johns Hopkins Medicine Center describes the symptoms in detail.
Radiculopathy often occurs due to a bulging or ruptured disc, the body’s gel-filled “bumpers” that rest between each spinal vertebra. The pain of radiculopathy, clinically referred to as “radicular pain,” radiates from the injury’s location to the areas connected to that nerve. For instance, radiculopathy of the sciatic nerve causes pain along that neural path, starting in the lower back and radiating downward through the hip and leg and into the foot.
Disability insurance companies are vigilant about radiculopathy claims. They insist in a large number of radiological tests to prove that there is any kind of a spinal injury. Disability lawyers Frankel & Newfield have represented many people who suffer from cervical or lumbar radiculopathy and have had their disability claims challenged. We know the way that disability insurance companies review these claims, what they look for as they try to deny benefits, and how they use medical examinations to attempt to show that the person is not really disabled.
Call our office today at 877-583-2524 for a free consultation to talk about your radiculopathy disability, your disability insurance policy, and how we can help protect your claim. If you have already filed a claim and it has been denied, you have a limited amount of time to appeal your claim so do not delay.
The nerve root is the portion of the nerve that runs through the bony canal and exits at each vertebral segment of the spinal cord. There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves and roots along the canal consist of cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal nerves. When the spinal root is inflamed, through injury or illness, the damage can lead to a complete loss of motion function below the location of the afflicted spinal root. It can also create severe pain that does not permit the person to go about their tasks of daily living.
The challenge for a disability insurance claim and an inflamed nerve root is that each patient experiences different symptoms. One with a high pain threshold may be able to heal slowly over time simply by limiting their activities. Another person with the same injury may be debilitated by pain and unable to walk. Assessing a level of pain, discomfort, or lack of sensation through an objective test is challenging at best. This is why anyone who needs to file a long-term disability insurance claim, whether for a private or individual claim or an ERISA benefit, should speak with an experienced disability attorney about their claim.
If you have already filed for a long-term disability insurance claim concerning a spinal nerve root diagnosis and your claim has been denied or terminated, call our office at 877-583-2524 to talk about your diagnosis, your disability insurance policy, and how we can help protect your claim.
Note that if your claim has been denied, you have a short window of time in which to appeal your claim, so don’t delay.
Secrets the Disability Insurance Companies Don't Want You to Know!