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Establishing a service connection for shoulder / arm radiculopathy


Wolfhound88    9

Hi Strangers! 

I haven't been back for a while because a lot of things have been going on in life, not so good, but those are for other posts.

I do, however, have a question please. On my last claim, I was denied Service connection for upper right radiculopathy and upper left radiculopathy stating "Service connection for right upper radiculopathy is denied since this condition neither occured in nor was caused by the service". I do have a current diagnosis of radiculopathy, both left and right.  When I had my exit medical exam from the Army back in 1991, it clearly states that I claimed "occasionally painful right shoulder". 

I was Light Infantry, so we humped a LOT. Lots of heavy rucksacks. Going on sick call for sore shoulders or back was HEAVILY frowned upon because, in all reality, EVERYONE's backs and knees were sore from all the walking we did. I truly believe carrying those 100+ pound rucksacks for 12 hour intervals is the reason I have the compressed discs in my back. Since leaving the service, I have been to the VA several times over the years, the first being three years after getting out, and now again, in the past year. In between, I have been to several private doctors, chiropractors etc for the same problem, and now it's getting worse, moving to the left side as well. Hurts like hell. Shooting pain down both my arms and feels like someone has beat them both with bats...just aching bad, hard to sleep, get comfortable, etc.

So here is my question...how do I establish a nexus for service connection? I mean, it IS in my exit medical exam that I had the occasional shoulder pain. But will the fact that I never really went on sick call or to the hospital for it mean I will always be denied? Like I said, back at Planet Ord, if you went on sick call for almost anything, you were chastised for it, so most guys just sucked it up. It is even possible for me to get service connection granted for this?

Thanks in advance for all you advice.

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