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      The following is on my About page, but some have been asking how this all happened. So here is my little story. Tbird US Navy 1983 – 1990 E-6 HadIt.com the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997 the domain is registered and paid for through Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton he told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with the VA. Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, reads the first insert, looks me straight in the eye, and says you will be 50% for the rest of your life and he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word he met with me and talked with me for a long time filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. 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For years now I have just considered HadIt.com my job and I get up every morning go to the office and work for several hours, take an afternoon break and see where the rest of day takes me. I have a place in the office to use the computer and a comfortable to place to read journals and articles and take notes. Blah, blah, blah so that is my story and HadIt.com's intertwined.
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      VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware.... Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... 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Spine - Secondary Condition - Headache

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Can anyone quote the exact reference in VA regulations where "characteristic prostrating attacks" is defined? I thought I had seen it somewhere in the forums but can't find it now. I have found many references to it but never a real definition. The best I could ever come up with is that a "characteristic prostrating attack" is a "characteristic prostrating attack". And I have read a lot of interpretations as to what that means but not the official VA definition. I sent an IRIS asking this question but haven't gotten an answer. Thank you. Ken1939

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6 answers to this question

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There is no VA definition of "characteristic prostrating attacks," per se. It is a common medical definition that is specific to each parent condition that creates the prostrating symptoms. A prostrating attack is one that completely incapacitates the sufferer for a period of time. The word "characteristic" comes into play in regards to the parent condition suffered. In the case of headaches, this term would mean a headache so severe as to totally incapacitate the sufferer for a large part of the day due to common (re. characteristic) symptoms such as severe pain, vision problems, and nausea or vomiting. Imagine the migraine sufferer displayed on medical shows who is in such severe pain that he has to have the lights off, no noise, is banging his head on the floor, and puking all over the place. That would constitute a (severe) characteristic prostrating attack.

I'm not sure if that is what you were looking for, or if you were looking for a definite piece of VA literature that can prove that headaches is a secondary condition of cervical spine disorders. If that is the case, then the following from the 2002 VA Training Letter on IVDS should work:

a. Cervical IVDS

Pain

• Neck pain

• Pain radiating down the arm (brachialgia). The pain may be sharp, burning, stinging, or stabbing in the arm, elbow, wrist or fingers, depending on the disc site. It is the upper extremity equivalent of sciatica in the lower extremity.

• May be referred pain in the upper middle of the back.

Sensory abnormality - May be numbness, burning, or weakness in the arm and hand.

Motor abnormality - If there is pressure on the spinal cord, there may be weakness in the legs, shock-like pain down the spine, numbness, or poor coordination.

Other - Headache is common. Cervical problems tend to be less debilitating than lumbar problems.

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Posted · Report post

There is no VA definition of "characteristic prostrating attacks," per se. It is a common medical definition that is specific to each parent condition that creates the prostrating symptoms. A prostrating attack is one that completely incapacitates the sufferer for a period of time. The word "characteristic" comes into play in regards to the parent condition suffered. In the case of headaches, this term would mean a headache so severe as to totally incapacitate the sufferer for a large part of the day due to common (re. characteristic) symptoms such as severe pain, vision problems, and nausea or vomiting. Imagine the migraine sufferer displayed on medical shows who is in such severe pain that he has to have the lights off, no noise, is banging his head on the floor, and puking all over the place. That would constitute a (severe) characteristic prostrating attack.

I'm not sure if that is what you were looking for, or if you were looking for a definite piece of VA literature that can prove that headaches is a secondary condition of cervical spine disorders. If that is the case, then the following from the 2002 VA Training Letter on IVDS should work:

RG,

is that quote you listed stating that lumbar conditions are more debilitating for headaches than the cervical spine?

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Posted · Report post

the quote means that generally lumbar IVDS is more debilitating that cervical IVDS. I'm not sure where they pulled that gem out from.

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Posted · Report post

Thank you rentalguy1,

I am interested in VA literature to prove headaches as a secondary condition. My current 10% SC for the neck is for "degenerative disease of the cervical spine". I guess I could assume that Intervertebral Disc Syndrome (IVDS) is the same thing but I have learned not to assume anything. I am also SC for a secondary condition, "headaches associated with degenerative disease cervical spine". The VA examiner diagnosis was actualy "Muscle Contraction Headaches". My rating is 0% because of no "characteristic prostrating attacks" averaging 1 every 2 months over the last several months.

I intend to appeal this but I need to know exactly what it is that I am appealing. I deal with headaches almost daily but about once every 2 to 3 weeks I have to lie down until the headache goes away.

I have an appointment with a private neurologist on 1/29/09 and hopefully I can suggest the right wording for his report that the VA will accept. I know prostrating attack is important but I'm not sure it is in the doctor's vocabulary. I have searched medical dictionaries and other medical journals and have yet to find a reference to that phrase. The only place it shows up is on VA web sites and there is never a definition or a reference to VA regs. Your definition is as good as I've seen but I never get that wiped out.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your input.

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Posted · Report post

This, so far is the best I've found on characteristic prostrating attacks.

It is from a BVA decision.

Hope this helps a vet.

carlie

http://www.va.gov/vetapp94/files1/9404239.txt

The medical evidence and the veteran's own testimony do not depict

characteristic prostrating attacks, as contemplated by Code 8100,

where the affected person is truly incapacitated for a substantial

period of time and must lie down and rest until headaches abate.

Rather, the evidence shows low-grade headaches that are readily

relieved and which have no major impact on the veteran's ability to

work. The aggregate impairment from these headaches does not exceed

that which would be found in a migraine condition with characteristic

prostrating attacks averaging one in two months over the last several

months (i.e., the 10 percent criteria of Code 8100). Thus, an

increase in the current 10 percent rating must be denied.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks Carlie,

It helps. The more I look at decisions and opinions the better prepared I am to come up with my own definition that fits my circumstances. Once I decide what needs to be said I will have to convince the doctor to cooperate and use the VA terminology. By the way, I got an answer from IRIS where my question was what is the definition of a "characteristic prostrating attack" and where is this definition referenced in the regs. The answer was to refer me to the rating table which tells me nothing. It tells me how to rate it if I have it but it doesn't tell me what it is. In other words, a "characteristic prostrating attack" is a "characteristic prostrating attack." Just take our word for it. Ken

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