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Found 13 results

  1. Hello fellow Vets! I am currently at 70% rating total. Last updated in 2020. T10-T12 – Disc herniation – 20% Lower left radiculopathy – 20% Right lower extremity – 20% Depressive disorder (secondary to back pain) – 30% I have some questions. I continue to get worse back pain and its becoming increasing more difficult to sit for any period of time to do my day job. I also have developed lumbar disc problems now. I had once read that spinal issues can be connected. Would it be worthwhile to submit a claim for the lumbar as secondary? Any advice on how to be successful? Any advice on if my current rated conditions could be increased to 100. What would the VA look for to make such a increase for those conditions.
  2. SO...it seems to me that they basically said because I had no diagnosis that I was out of luck. They admit that I was seen for my back as far back as 1992 and that I've had treatment since discharge. They didn't mention that 'chronic back pain' is listed as an active problem in my VA health record and that I've been on medication for back pain since 2008. Now that Saunders v Wilkie has reversed the need for an underlying cause, how do I reopen this claim since the pain is in and of itself is now considered a disability? Thanks!
  3. Hello All! My name is Cris, and I served 4 years active duty in the USCG as a BM3. I am here on the recommendation of a co-worker who has had a lot of success in his claim with the VA and he suggested I do the same, stating you need an airtight case. I am a 30 year old male who suffers from low back pain, which started towards my last 2 years in the CG. I was on small boats my entire career, was a Boarding Officer, Coxswain and Heavy Weather boat crewman. Daily, getting out of bed is rough, taking some time "to get the kinks out." I believe a lot of this has been caused by bouncing around in a small boat for 4 years wearing all of the equipment we were required to. I do not have much documentation of my injury when I was in, with it being attributed to 'wear and tear.' As I stated, my co-worker has had great success in these forums with his claim, and I am hoping to have the same. I have been seeing a chiropractor for some time now and seem to get little relief from it but nothing of significance. I am unsure of a few things... 1. I currently work as a career firefighter/ paramedic and my body has been put through the ringer, does this put me at a disadvantage with a claim? 2. Do I even have a case? even though they could chalk up my injury to my current job with no previous documentation? 3. Where would I even begin? Any and all help is wanted and appreciated! Thank you in advance and stay safe!
  4. I currently have 20% for arthritis in my upper back. When I use my arms in such a manner like swinging a hammer or holding them up above my head for long periods, it causes pain in my back. Do I have to have pain in my arm or joints in my arm to have a claim? Can I get this service-connected as a secondary disability?
  5. So I started my "Fully Developed Claim" 02/08/2019 had my VA Comp and Pen Exam 03/18/2019 . My original completion date was 08/05/2019. Then after my Exam 05/03/2019. This is my story I've injured both knees, both feet and back while serving In the Army in 2017. progressively my back gave out on me. Now I'm young 25 years, can't work and didn't know about my options until just recently. Lucky for me I was within my year of separation so I got a VSO to work with me and my claim. Still waiting if it's an approval or denial, however today Ebenefits updated status from "Pending of Decision" to "Pending Decision Approval. With a new estimated date 04/30/2019. What happens next. Will I know I'm approved before notification in the mail?
  6. I was diagnosed as needing a total knee replacement on my RIGHT knee when I was 34 or 35 years old. At that time, the docs told me I would have to wait until at least age 50 to get the surgery because "they only want to do it once." Fast forward to last April, when at 54, my surgery was finally done. Starting last November, I started having pain in my lower back on my left side. After xrays and an MRI, it was discovered that not only is my left leg was now 3/4" SHORTER than my surgically repaired leg, and that I have "pars defects" in my L2, and my L3 is "uncovered". No doctor YET has told me what either of those terms means. I was seen by a doc in Physical Therapy who told me that this was related to the length of time between diagnosis and surgery, but I find no mention of this in my medical records that I have access to thru the "blue button". I filed a claim for secondary condition, and I am scheduled to meet with a doctor in the pain management clinic in May, with my C & P exam the week after. What do I need to do to prove that these problems are related, and do I have to get either my pain doc or my primary care doc to include that in my medical records before I go to my claim exam?
  7. I thought I should finally share my story... I separated from the Navy in June of 2014. I started my first VA claim as a quick start ( I was still active duty) claim but it was anything but quick. I went through a rep at MCRD in San Diego who helped people separating the military file initial claims. I claimed/filed for migraines, TMJ, neck scar, lower back pain and shooting pains down left and right leg. I submitted copies of my AD medical records and went to all my CP exams. After waiting close to a year, I got my BBE that contained my claim award that I very much needed and expected a good outcome. I got a big fat 0%. Migraines- 0%, scar- 0%, Tmj 0% and denied completely on my lower back pain condition and shooting pains down left/right leg. I was so angered by my outcome that I lost all faith in the VA and threw my BBE in a drawer and decided to forget the VA and move on with my life. Fast forward to two years later something got me fired up again about the process/original outcome I received from the VA. I began to do my homework and stumbled across this site. The stories I read gave me hope and personal insight into others who had filed for the same conditions I did. I got smart and marched straight into the San Diego Regional office and joined a Veteran's Organization. I personally went with AMVETS as they were the first group to reach out to me and I like what the rep had to say. I could tell he was really there to help me with my claim. I filed for increases on Migraines, scar and TMJ. I also started a new claim for my lower back pain and shooting pains down left/right leg since I was past the one year mark to file an appeal. We also filed new claims for depression/anxiety, acne and tinnitus. I gave him all my medical records from AD and my separation physical that was missing from my original claim. To better my claim outcome my VO suggested I get DBQs filled out by my personal doctor and dentist for my Migraines and TMJ. I once again attended all CP exams the VA requested. My outcome this time was a small victory. I received: Migraines- 0%, Scar- 10% and TMJ 10% conditions for acne and my back had been deferred. From doing my homework I knew I was being low balled on my migraines and TMJ. My rep filed for a reconsideration on my Migraines and TMJ and resubmitted the DBQs from my personal doctors that had been overlooked by the VA ( they only considered the cp exam results). I then went for my next round of CP exams for my acne and lower back condition. My new rating came shortly after: Migraines: 50% TMJ- 20% Neck Scar- 10% Lower Back Pain- 10% Sciatica Left Leg- 20% Sciatica Right Leg- 10% Acne- 0% Allergic Rhintis- 0% Depression/Anxiety- Denied because doctor had stated it "resolved" in service. Tinnitus- Denied Combined Rating- 80% Without the help of Hadit.com I would have never been able to go through this process again and get this outcome! I went from 0% to 80% within 6 months. I'm so thankful to everyone who has posted here and I'm hoping I can help out another Vet by contributing! My fight with the VA is not over! I'm beginning the process to file a CUE claim on my lower back pain and left/right shooting pains down leg to get my effective date pushed back to my separation date. The VA originally denied my back claim stating that there was no medical evidence in my file. They were wrong. Best wishes to everyone and keep fighting!!!
  8. Hello fellow Vets, So today I began my journey of filing my first CUE claim with the help of my VSO. I've been rated appropriately for my Migraines (50%) and my lower back condition with sciatica to left and right leg (Combined 40%) over the past several months. The goal now is that I'm challenging the effective date for these conditions to my separation date of 6/30/2014. I was originally denied my back claim and rated 0% for Migraines. I've proven my back claim was service connected and wrongfully initially denied. The challenge will be getting my Migraine effective date changed but I'm hopeful. The VA has pushed back every step of the way! I'm going to do my best to keep a timeline of events and keep everyone posted with my claims progress. Wish me luck!!! 05/09- CUE claim filed 5/18- Preparation for Decision
  9. Hello, I'm a returning member of this forum. I was last on here some years ago. After a long struggle I finally got 60% disability and between that and some depression I was experiencing at the time I settled. I just got a reminder of my status and realized three things: I cannot work and haven't been able to for about a decade now. Financially, I'm not "getting by". I'm living check to check and praying nothing goes "wrong" like needing new tires for the car. I'm actually only getting 20% for the back injury that has taken most of my life from me and the other 40% from comparatively minor crap. So I'm angry again. Angry enough to open up this can of worms one more time. I'm working with the DAV this time and I understand there have been some changes in the process so I'm trying to stay positive and open minded. So that's who I am and why I'm here. See you around the forums. John Purser
  10. Question, I fell down a flight of stairs during my first week of boot camp. Out of that I ended up with SC for both knees and back, which were dated to my EAS. Sometime 5 years later I hurt my back, muscle spasms, in the lower L area, during organized PT. This area has been a weak spot ever since. It is also very easily aggravated, especially if I don't watch myself, or do something dumb like sneeze while walking behind my self-propelled mower. Would it be a separate SC issue, since it involves the muscles and not the spinal column? I know the back is rated by ROM, mostly, due to DDD or arthritis, do they rate muscle injuries separately? Andyman
  11. Alright guys, I am new here, and I am hoping that it will be good to talk to and hear helpful tips from fellow veterans on dealing with the VA hospitals lackluster care. I'll start by introducing myself a bit, I am a USMC Infantry Combat Veteran, OIF era. I seek care in the VA Boston area. I am rated at 70% service connected, and am currently receiving Individual Unemployability because I had to leave my job due to my issues. I am being treated for PTSD, TBI, Chronic Upper Back Pain, Left knee pain (ACL and MCL tear), and GI issues (possible Ulcers, GERD, IBS etc... tests incoming). I also must say how grateful I am for most of the services offered to veterans. Alright, so here is my main problem. The chronic upper back pain I spoke of earlier is currently under treated, and not diagnosed. I had sought help from a local Doctor, but had to stop going because I simply could not afford those prices any longer. This is the best I can write out everything, I have been trying to take notes and write everything down since my memory isn't all that good. The pain: The pain is in my upper back, right side, shoulder area. It can get excruciatingly painful and debilitating. Not sure if it is related or not, but I get a strange 'electric shock' feeling on the back of my neck, right side, where the spine connects to the skull. The pain is definitely made worse by physical activity of any sort, even simply standing for more than 30 minutes can cause it to 'flare up' and driving is another time it acts up. Yard work and chores at my house are incredibly hard to get done without being in pain, and the pain leads to me being in a shitty mood. At it's worst it is a deep pain, like it feels like it is under the bones and such, a 8 or 9 on the stupid pain scale is not uncommon. The skin feels sort of subdued, like it's sort of numb feeling above where the pain is. This has been ongoing for YEARS now. At least 7 years. Documented in my med records since bootcamp. The tests: The VA doctors have done many tests, XRAY's have been done, and they show nothing wrong. MRI's have been done, and also show nothing abnormal (that would cause that pain at least... cyst was located on Thyroid gland) a CT scan has been done on my head while I was having very bad migraines and it didn't show anything that would cause the back pain. I asked if maybe the Gall Bladder was involved as it can cause pain in that area, the GI specialist said it was doubtful, but in one of my upcoming tests (Ultrasound) he should be able to tell for sure. "So called treatments": I will now list ALL of the things that either the Doctors have done, or I have done to try and curb the pain, and the results of the treatment. Physical Therapy. Was required of me when I complained of this issue while still active duty. I did I believe 2 months at the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital. It did NOT help me for this problem. I have done PT for my knee before, and that DID help, so I have a good grasp of how it is supposed to work. Currently, my VA Doc has suggested trying it again, I am NOT open to this idea, as A) no help previously, and B) I cannot drive into Boston 3+ times a week for PT sessions. Menthol 10% cream. No help whatsoever. Was 'prescribed' by my Primary Care. Lidocaine Patches. Prescribed by Primary Care doc as well. Oddly enough seems to make me notice the pain MORE when I have one on... otherwise nothing. Nortriptyline 25mg. Prescribed by my local Neurologist doc when I could afford to see her. Didn't work. Cyclobenzaprine muscle relaxer. Prescribed by VA doctors. Made me too tired to function, and made me felt weird. Didn't help with the pain either, but did help with getting to sleep. Naproxen tabs. Both prescription ones and OTC, zero help. Told to discontinue due to possible Ulcers. Acetominophen 500mg. No help. Told to stop taking them by PC due to possible Ulcers. Oxycodone 10mg Acetominophen 325mg. Prescribed by local Neurologist. ONLY thing that has helped at all thus far. Was only given 1 bottle (40) before I stopped seeing that Neurologist, she stopped seeing me as a patient because she "doesn't know what's wrong with me, but it doesn't appear to be anything that she can help with" gave me the 1 bottle and said she hopes it helps and for me to go back to my Primary Care. Didn't fully cover pain, definitely took the edge off though and made me able to function. Ice and Heat. Feels ok while icing/heating but doesn't relieve the pain and the effects don't last. The 'diagnosis': As of now, no diagnosis. Things that the Doctors have mentioned... Muscle Strain, A sprain, Muscle spasm, scoliosis (false) Things that I have mentioned that they dismiss: Lyme Disease, Gall Bladder Issues, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Ruptured Disc, Spinal Stenosis. Current course of treatment: Pain Clinic said they will give me 'trigger point injections' and I am completely uninterested in that, A) they have no idea whats even wrong so I don't see how injecting something will work, B) I have family members with back issues (ruptured discs) who have had this treatment and they said it was NOT WORTH IT at ALL. But that is about it. They said they will NOT give me medication for it, first thing they said in fact, then said injections or nothing pretty much. What do I WANT: I'd love to know what the main problem really is, but until that can be established I want PAIN RELIEF. this is INSANE that I have to live like this for no reason. I don't want to seem like a drug seeker, but HOLY HELL it's the only thing that has helped me out at all, and realistically I don't think I would have hatched a plan 7 years ago to constantly complain about the same pain to get drugs?? Is there something special I have to say to them to get treatment? Do they just NOT prescribe pain medication now? I know it is an issue in this country, but it's xxxxxxx insane that I just on my own dealing with this pain thats ruining my life. It's just not fair that I got to see how that 1 month of life went while I had a prescription, adn then that was it, now I'm back to nothing. It's literally driving me crazy. I don't even want a ton pills or anything!!! Just enough so that I can get stuff done around my house, and spend time with my girlfriend and family without being a raging jerk to everyone due to being in pain. I don't want to get addicted to them either, I understand that can happen, which is why I spread out that 1 prescription I did have. Even typing this out, they have me brainwashed to feel like a junkie by wanting medication for my problems. xxxx. Anyways, that did feel good to get off my chest... I really look forward to getting some feedback, or help, or ANYTHING. But even just venting was ok... I'm sure my Girlfriend is very tired of hearing me bitch about it all the time... ha ha ha. Semper Fi. -Rusty
  12. Hello, 1. We just returned from the VAMC Urgent care and I have a few questions and maybe crazy or have high expectations. The first question. The room I was put in at urgent care had a lot of ants. I did not see them until the doctor told me but they were on the side of me as in not in the corner at the wall or under a deck. I was not in a r00m with a bed but in a chair and literally like 6 inches from my foot were a darn tribe of ants and then a line of ants toward the front of the chair. The person that put me in the room did not see them, I did not see them, the nurse did not see them but the doctor when he came in made a comment but nobody came to clean them up. My wife and twenty month old daughter came to the room after about 1 1/2 hours later after I had xrays and my wife said OMG ants on your feet, so they were killed, lol. I asked if we could change rooms b/c of the ants, the guy put us in the next room over on the same side and he went in the room with a yellow bottow which I assume is "raid" and talked about needing to call the exterminator in the morning. I did take pics and videos of this because it was like a lot of ants and they started running over my feet not that I could feel them but my wife told me, To me that is just nasty to me, the ants looked to be eating something on the floor that was stepped on. Anyhow, who can I forward this info to outside of the local and regional VA here and would that be acceptable or just too much? 2. My back (lumbar or PGP) I went to UC because I could not get out of bed, could not walk, have fallen probably 20 times in the last two days as this just came out of no where but I have reported lumbar issues and use a tens, meds tramadol and muscle relaxer flexural.I have never hugged the wall in my life but being unable to stand up I learned. My pain to me feels like PGP (pelvic girdle pain) or maybe an annular tear. My UC Doctor seemed really good but even though I told him of my past back historyand the current issues like my left nut felt like it was going to explode he felt I had kidney stones or something else so Xrays, blood work and urine test went on. All came back negative but as I told him, no bowel movement in the last 48 hours and the xray showed me backed up which he gave me something to release the bowels. He did not want to give me a pain med because I am constipated and it will make it "worse", so I did not get any pain relief even as he acknowledged my pain level and my attempts to walk and get up. The kicker and insult to me was my "Diagnosis: Constipation" The doctor said he felt the constipation is causing my back pain. Constipation was not what I came in for, this can be a symptom of what is wrong but they did not do a MRI or Xray on my spine. I do know that Saddle anesthesia or cauda equina syndrome can cause constipation but constipation is a symptom of something not a cause or I might really be crazy can someone help me with this. Also, is there something I can file in my record about my severe lumbar pain vs. constipation. Oh but look. My nurse went looking for me and this was actually ONE room next to the ant room, nothing closed but she went back up to the front with my script and said "he already left, there's nobody in room XX, he must not have had back pain after all, my wife just shook her head as I could not even drive. Someone even put in morphine for me but I never received it b/c it can constipate me even more and I know this but my back pain is still my first problem as I cannot even get out of bed by myself the the flexerall and tramadol my pcp prescribes for me. I'm unsure if this site will let you upload videos but I can try in the AM Thanks and sorry for a dumb post but I appreciate any insight. YelloowNumber 5
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