Millions of Americans suffer from some form of back injury or pain, some types of which can be very debilitating. Back pain is notoriously difficult to treat, with many sufferers having to be content living with low-grade pain for the rest of their lives. Because of this, many neurologists have fallen into prescribing powerful painkillers.
In particular, opioid painkillers are commonly used to treat back pain. Unfortunately, this may not be helping patients. According to a new statement by the American Academy of Neurologists, opioid painkillers such as morphine, oxycodone, and methadone may not be the best solution for a wide range of chronic conditions, partly because patients are more likely to become addicted, overdose and suffer numerous side effects.Â
For Americans who live with serious chronic back pain, engaging in gainful employment can become difficult or even impossible. When this happens, it is important to realize that Social Security disability benefits may be available. Generally speaking, the condition must be bad enough that it prevents one from earning a minimum monthly incomeâtermed substantial gainful activityâand is expected to last at least one year. Depending on the specific cause or causes of the back pain, the condition may be found in the agencyâs official listing of impairments.
In cases where an applicant is unable to meet the requirements of an official listing, it may still be possible to obtain benefits if oneâs condition is equivalent to a listing. Regardless of the circumstances of the case, it can be helpful to work with an experienced attorney when putting an application together.
Source: Los Angeles Times, âFor most chronic pain, neurologists declare opioids a bad choice,â Melissa Healy, October 1, 2014.Â