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This causes pressure on the spinal cord or a narrowing of the openings where nerves leave the spinal column.


Although back pain is a common indicator of stenosis, other symptoms include pain, cramping, or numbness in the back, buttocks, thighs, calves, neck, shoulders, or arms. Stenosis may also cause weakness in park of a leg or arm. Also, symptoms may worsen over time. Severe symptoms may include difficulty or poor balance when walking and urinary or bowel incontinence.


Spinal stenosis is often the result of aging, as the discs of the spine begin to dry and bulge. Concurrently, bones and ligaments in the spine thicken, either due to arthritis or inflammation. Other causes of stenosis include bone disease, birth defects, past back injuries, and tumors.


Social Security may award your disability claim if you have spinal stenosis that results in pseudoclaudication (which causes lower limb pain while standing or walking). This must be determined through «acceptable imaging» (usually MRI/CT scans). Symptoms should include nonradicular pain and weakness and an inability to ambulate effectively. Inability to ambulate effectively is generally considered if a person must use a walker, two canes or crutches, cannot walk a short distance at a regular pace, or cannot perform normal functions of walking, such as shopping.

A medical doctor must attest that the claimant meets all of these requirements.

If you do not meet the above requirements, your doctor may be able to attest to certain limitations your condition causes you, such as limits on how much weight you can lift, how far you can walk, how long you can stand or sit, and other functional assessments. If these restrictions are supported by medical records, you may be able to qualify for Social Security under Steps 4 & 5 of the sequential evaluation process.


Although this should be a simpler award than some other conditions, you may find you do not quite meet the qualifications in Social Security’s evaluation. Or you may not be sure how to get the right information from your doctor.

Our Social Security disability team at Craig Swapp and Associates is well-versed in just what to do set up the best case possible for your disability. We analyze each case individually and implement a plan of attack to get your claim awarded. And if we don’t win your case, you pay us absolutely nothing.This site contains information only. It is not medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment.