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Secondary to lumbar strain?

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Jim412

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I am rated 40% for lumbar strain and 20% for lower Radiculopathy. I had a recent X-ray of my neck that shows bone spurs/arthritis. My question is can I claim Cervical strain secondary to lumbar strain? Upper Radiculopathy? Arthritis? I’m not sure how the pyramiding works or the rules. Thanks in advance. The wording of the X-ray is Preservation of disc space heights with small-moderately large 
     anterior disc osteophytes C3-C6. 

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

Yes. Remember the old song, "The back bone is connected to the neck bone..." It is similar to that. It's all connected.

If you had an injury to your lower back, the neck can sometimes suffer too. Sometimes the residuals of the neck might not be known until much later. Lumbar back issues can alter your gait (how you walk) and also cause you to compensate in other ways which place unnatural strain on the other parts like your neck, knees, hips, etc... If you walk with a cane, you likely tend to lean towards one side. Best bet is to submit an "intent to file" (ITF) to preserve your effective date. I don't think the ITF has to contain any info about what you plan to file. You then have a year to officially submit your claim. During that time you can work on your evidence and maybe even get a medical opinion/nexus to help your claim.

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I agree with the above.  My advice is to not limit your application to "secondary to lumbar strain".  

You have many bridges, and the most obvious one may be mined by VA.  

Therefore, instead of limiting your choices, "I want to apply for cervical strain, both direct (primary), and secondary to already SC conditions, as well as any presumptives."   Dont burn down any of your bridges before crossing them.  Different doctors often have widely differing opinions, and, mostly, it is gonna be based on the doctor's opinion (nexus).  I cant predict what a doc will opine, therefore I apply for them all not leaving out any.  

It is true, that if you have cervical strain secondary to lumbar, that, even if you applied "not secondary" va should catch it anyway.  But, do you want to spend the next 4 years appealing this because a VA employee either did not know this, or didnt care?  

Make it easy for yourself, getting VA benefits is challenging enough.  If you want more challenge, run the Boston marathon, or maybe race the DAytona 500, or other sport of your choice.  

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Bronco and Vync are spot on. Even though I am on appeal status, I filed it as cervical or lumbar strain. Both conditions were in my str prior exiting active duty. Reason for denial was str was silent for treatment and lack of continuity after service. But anywho, if I do get granted, hopefully it's for both cervical and lumbar.

Above Hadit family is correct, do not limit yourself. 

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

@Whodat Thanks, but the whole concept of "lumbar strain" which is typically documented in service treatment records is pretty sloppy. Back in the 90s, the diagnosis was to the effect of, "The service member is complaining about their back, but we don't care enough to really diagnose the issue or doing anything more than a quick exam or an x-ray".

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