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I was recently rated at 40% for Mechanical Cervical Spine Pain and for Mechanical Lower Back Pain Syndrome. Here are my questions:

1. Can I claim for all the spasms I have in my neck which in turn gives me headaches all the time? Would this still be primary claim or secondary because I do not know if they separated muscle spasms from Cervical Spine itself?

2. Would this be the same for my lower back syndrome (lumbar)?

I am trying to figure out since they separate the spine itself how about the tissue attached to the spine, are they separate or part of each section?

I get a lot of headaches which is driving me crazy because there isn't a day that goes by that I don't get them. I know they are from the spasms I have in my neck because the muscles in my neck feel like a brick whenever I have headaches.

Any info would be very, very appreciated.

I have already submitted my claim for my Thoracic Spine which I missed claiming 14 years ago. Reading over my military records I realized that this was the origin of the problem. Some Doctor in the Army pushed on my back because of a facet dysfunction a physical therapist said I had and she could not push back together.A few days after that pain went down to my lower back then few weeks later to my neck. I have documented proof of this Doctor doing this and highlighted all of it and sent it in with my claim to the VA. I actually feel that because of what this Doctor did I am in the situation I am in today. I really do feel like this, I hate to believe it but documentary proof shows the actual events. I originally hurt my back on a field exercise on the Big Island of Hawaii. I jumped out of a Black Hawk and my one of my feet was stepped on while I was about to jumped. I landed on my face on the ground and the person behind my pushed my legs over while he jumped out. I was bent backwards so bad that I could see my boots in front of me. Well I got up and I didn't feel nothing hurt in my back but my face hurt from the fall. Then two weeks later I was drilling into dry wall in my NBC office to make more room for chemical mask and boom my chest starting hurting. Well after seeing the DR at the TMC he said I strained muscles in my mid back. Weeks later it was still hurting but now I was sitting leaning to the right. He sent me to physical therapy and the PT told me I had 3-4 ribs dysfunctioned. Which at the time I didn't understand what she was saying but now I understand what it is. She pushed on my back a few times for a couple of days and then she said she could get a couple of them back in. She told me she would have to find someone on Schofield Barracks who could do it. Well she gets a reply by a Family Medical Doctor who was the person I was referring to who I believe ruined my back. He pushed on it, I heard it pop and said OUUUUUUUUUCH. He gave me a prescription for Valium and said I should get better. Well 3 days later I awoke to get ready for PT and booooom I had to have my roommate help me out of bed. I then went to sick call and this is when all heck broke lose for me for the next year and a half.

Sorry for the long story but I wanted others to see why I feel like I feel. Something so simple that at Chiropractor could have fixed some other guy ruined my career that I was wanting to accomplish. I talk with a friend who now a 1st Sgt in the Army and man it really upsets me because he is about to go to SGT Maj School and I am sitting at home BROKE because of this Doctor. Do I blame 100% on him, not entirely but he sure played a huge factor in why I am at home.

Please forgive me for writing a bio out like this but I really feel I had to get this off my chest and I feel that now it is time to payback to come back to me for the pain and suffering I have been through for 14 years. I sat on it for so long and I have secondary issues waiting to be claim because of the stress it has caused in my life. I kick myself everyday because I grew up taught not to take "hand-outs" and to work for your $$$$$. But I now I feel I earned this and every cent that is giving to me and I don't feel "prideful" anymore. My family has suffered long enough especially my wife, who has takes good care of me whenever I am in pain. I love her so much....

God Bless...

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I don't know if my conditions would apply in your case but this is what happened with me. I have DDD, bone spurs, compression fractures, ankylosing spondylitits, curvature of the spine and hip displacement. My back was rated on range of motion only.

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VA regulations state that the Veteran, to be awarded benefits must "specify the benefit sought". Your problem is one many Vets have..they have multiple issues..and they are not doctors, and can't really "self diagnose" their medical conditions. I suggest you not try to do this...they dont train Doctors for 8 or 10 years because people without medical training can do just as good a job at diagnosing and treating injuries and illnesses.

Many VSO's and even some of the knowledgeable ex VA personel on this board will want you to try to self diagnose and then just apply for ONE benefit...because for the raters to process your claim its easier. Your job is not to try to make it easy for raters to process you single condition claim. If you specify, for example an issue with your c3 backbone, then a rating specialist will probably deny you if your doctor says the issue is with the c4 c5 and thoracic verterbrae. This would mean you would have to appeal...and tho you may win, are you prepared to wait an average of 4 years for your claim to go to the BVA to get your benefits?

Then, your claim would go back to the rating board after going to the BVA, for example, and the BVA would tell the RO that the Veteran is not required to self diagnose, and to apply the symptoms appropriately, and then the rating board would have even more work to do because they would have to do the job again, that they could have done right the first time if some VSO hadnt told the Vet to ONLY apply for symptoms related to C3 verterbrae.

So, and I am aware that the old school VA will probably scold me for this post, complaining that Veterans who apply for 10 issues slow down the process and cause the backlog. Dont listen to them. They are not the ones who will have to wait 4 years for their benefits if you guessed the wrong condition and your doc diagnosed you differently than what you predicted. If you have 10 issues/ symptoms claim them all! The medical condition you have is not your fault, assuming this is related to military service. If you get hit by a roadside bomb, and lose one leg, get shrapnel in the other, the blast wipes out your hearing, you get TBI from the blast, you have shrapnel in both arms and your chest, and one of your eyes also has metal in it, need facial and dental reconstructive surgery, and your kidneys are damaged, which ones of these issues do you not want to claim so that rating specialists can have an easier job? The correct answer is NONE...you are entitled to them all, and would be foolish to not apply for them all.

In a similar way, you dont know the full extent of your injuries, so cover all your bases. JMHO

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To cover your bases, you may apply for something like this:

I wish to apply for benefits from Thoracic. Lumbar, and Sacral spine injuries, as well as the neck, migraines, and conditions primary and secondary that are of record. Let the docs diagnose and the VA rating specialists rate your conditions. Dont limit them to make their job easy.

In the long run, it wont be any more work for rating specialists. If they are uncapable of rating "multiple claims", then perhaps they should go back for more training until they can do it.

Those "one horse wonders" that insist on just asking for one issue at a time (to make it "look" good) wind up taking decades for their benefits. And the "one horse" advocates, are not helping Veterans at all, they are just delaying the benefits the Veteran is entitled to.

Edited by broncovet
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I am in total agreement with Bronco. You MUST make sure that all of your actual disability(ies) are "claimed". I would start, obviously, with the obvious...........the conditions that occurred "in service" and that you were treated for "in-service". Then the disability(ies) that you have been treated for after your service that stem from the obviously service-connected or I should say the service-connectable disability(ies). Then, the disability(ies) that were aggravated BY the service-connected ones. And, NO you are not a doctor...........so just do your best to describe the symptoms while filling out your claim form and let the C&P doctor(s) figure out the diagnosis. But, as Bronco said, get all of "it" down on paper and place it before the VA and make them responsible for the correct outcome of your claim, and, if they do not properly take care of business, then KEEP COMING AT THEM, FRONTALLY..............NEVER, EVER, RETREAT!

boy, this new Keurig coffee maker sure is neat.............I'm trying to see just how many cups I can make in an hour....................WOOOOHOOOOOO!

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  • HadIt.com Elder


I am in agreement with the others. Don't claim one here or there or try to self diagnose and match this symptom to that symptom, secondary or primary, whatever.

I think my website might help (see signature below). It gives you links to the Schedule of Ratings as well as a few other items.

I would suggest you look at the Schedule of Ratings and anything that seems to relate to your problems, consider filing.

You don't have to diagnose, but they do have to address the claim, proving or disproving.

If you can work your medical documents and military documents as I suggest in my site, that could help.

I wish you good journey.


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First I have read everyone's reply. Thank you for the information. I am not and have not diagnosed myself in any claim. I just stated what is going on and what I am experiencing. What I did do on my last claim that I just file on my T Spine was point out the fact that everything started in my TSpine which is proved through my military medical records. That is all I said.

Also, the VA doesn't have me being in Ft McClellan for 3-4 months but I have all documents on that and made that factual statement on my claim I was there from what date to what date. Trust me I am not diagnosing myself because I have tried in the past to no avail. Heck all these DRs with 10 years of college can't and have never diagnosed me on my back. They are just stunned as I am on what is the root of the cause.

fanaticbooks I will read the website, thank.


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