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Cervical Spine And Sciatic Nerve Symptoms Exaggerate Years After Injury


Jak
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Question

I separated from the army in 1997 and was awarded 20% disability for low back pain by the VA. Many years later, my symptoms have reared their ugly heads more vicious than ever. Set aside from my episodes of "undiagnosed endometriosis" my military service years were relatively uneventful as far as injuries go except for one incident which resulted in the VA rating.

In 1994, I incurred an injury while participating in an "indian run" at PT. As opposed to the normal PT uniforms, we were dressed in full BDU - kevlar, rucksack and all. I was running downhill at a cautious speed and got knocked into and knocked down by a fellow platoon member who had tripped on a rock, fell and landed partially on top of me. Nothing really happened after that - we both got back up and finished the indian run. Three days later, I went to sick call thinking I tore muscles in my back and was experiencing sharp pain that ran down my leg. I relayed the story to the technician who inspected me and diagnosed me with muscle tension and soreness. I was prescribed 500 mg of generic tylenol and sent off with a profile for light duty and temporary profile for PT for 3 days.

To make a long story short, my back pain turned into a permanent profile which included pain in my knees and feet. All of my treatment is in my records with exception of the event that caused the injury. In 2003, my pain alleviated to a point that I couldn't treat myself with methods that I had been taught in physical therapy (in the military) and with finally having health insurance I sought out medical treatment that is continuous up to the current date. Through an MRI, I was diagnosed with cervical injury from C4-C6, bulging disks, arthritis, and degenerative disk disease to include diagnosis for "military neck". This isn't the end. Three weeks ago, the pain from my lower back starting acting up. I was sent for an MRI on my lumbar and the pain specialist thinks the pain is from my sciatic nerve. I'm still awaiting the MRI.

I don't think I have any problems showing where I incurred the injury but my problem is that from 1997 to 2002, there's no records of any treatment for me. The reason is simple: I didn't have health insurance and I had no idea what services were available to me from the VA. Had I known, I wouldn't be posing this question now.

The pain management doctor believes that the reason my neck injury hadn't shown up for so long was due to my body "prioritizing" what needed to be treated and the pain intensified once I had my twin sons. I was told that many women don't even know they have neck problems until after their pregnancy due to the constant stress and unnatural positions that our arms, shoulders, neck and back are placed in while holding our babies. Once I had my neck treated, my lower back flared up again. This has been the constant cycle since 2003. I've been on some (what I consider) hardcore medicine such as vicodin for the last three years. I have a hard time dealing with the pain and dealing with my twin toddler boys. Take a moment to read my post on infertility -endometriosis and add those symptoms to these. Between everything I've gone thru, I have bouts of panic attacks, periods of migraines, can't sleep without medicine, constantly tired, moody. At least once a week, my husband has to stay home from work to help me with my sons. Those are the days that the pain and moods are at their worst and I need bedrest.

What are your thoughts? and also, now that I'm aware of VA medical services, should I forget the pain doctors and return to the military for treatment? Again, your thoughts and suggestion are appreciated!

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The Cervical spine and the Lumbar spine are difrent body segements.

The Sciatic Nerve is innervated by the L spine.

Your problems at C4-C6 would include arm, elbow and shoulder function.

Also there are accessory nerves for the Muscles of inspiration. ( Diamphragm).

It would have no bearing on the Lower back.

J

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I separated from the army in 1997 and was awarded 20% disability for low back pain by the VA. Many years later, my symptoms have reared their ugly heads more vicious than ever. Set aside from my episodes of "undiagnosed endometriosis" my military service years were relatively uneventful as far as injuries go except for one incident which resulted in the VA rating.

Jak,

Welcome to Hadit.

Do you know what Diagnostic Code (DC) VA used to rate your 20% SC under ?

If not call the 800 # and ask them. It is one of the few questions they can

probably provide an accurate answer for.

If you have medical evidence of an increase in this disability, then you would file

a claim for increase for it. The DC is important because going by the

Schedule of Rating Disabilities - you compare your medical evidence to it

and that should enable you to know what disability percentage you fall under.

I will try to answer some more later, hopefully other's will chime in.

carlie

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The Cervical spine and the Lumbar spine are difrent body segements.

The Sciatic Nerve is innervated by the L spine.

Your problems at C4-C6 would include arm, elbow and shoulder function.

Also there are accessory nerves for the Muscles of inspiration. ( Diamphragm).

It would have no bearing on the Lower back.

J

Jbasser, Yes I do know that the cervical spines relate to my neck and severe symptoms can result in pain to shoulder, arms and hand. I also know that the sciatic can cause pain in the buttocks, legs, and feet. I don't know how sciatic nerve wouldn't have bearing on the lower back....can you expand on that? Maybe I explained myself wrong.

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Look up rentalguy1's spine repository. It will explain in great detail.

You will have to show a Neck injury occurred in service in order to even attempt to get the C spine Service connected. You will have top get a Doc to nexus the injury and your current condition.

J

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You can file for the sciatic nerve symptoms as secondary to the injury to your lower back. You pain doctor should be able to give you a medical opinion.

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JAK,

a 20% disability that is service connected will entitle you to exemption from a fee basis at a VAMC. I never recieved a bill from the VA with only 10% service connected.

I had back problems at a time when I was covered by Kaiser. I went to a VAMC and told them I was dissatified with Kaiser. They told me they would not provide duplicate treatment and I had to choose one or the other. They said it was a medical determination based on medical ethics.

I have been treated at a VAMC for a C-4 problem that was very disabling for a couple yesrs. The treatment was very conservitive and it took a long time to get into a rehabilitation program. With daily home traction, exercises, and weekly appointments I recoverd over a period of two years. I have some residual loss of use and numbness in my fingers in one hand. Overall I was satisfied with my treatment at the VA other than it took so long to get into rehabilitation.

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