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      How to get your questions answered. A few observations, and requests of all members. All folks who come here are volunteers who do this on their own time and their own dime.To avoid burning out our best contributors please follow these guidelinesf you are reading a post and it reminds you of a question you want to ask, start a new topic, if you place your question in someone thread it will be difficult to distinguish your question from the original poster, you will get better results posting a new topic with your question. 1. Before Posting please do a search and see if your question has already been answered. If you find the answer print it out and put it in a file to use as a reference file, I find this helpful myself. 2. If you can not find the answer and you do post a question, please print out those answers and refer to them to avoid duplicate questions. 3. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions4. Duplicate questions will come up from time to time but the keeping them to the minimum will lighten the load on the regular volunteers.5. Respect folks privacy do not request their personal phone numbers for claims help, it is inappropriate and not why they are here.6. Keep the topics focused on veterans issues, in closing Search first Search ... Ask second.it may save a lot of time or at the very least enlighten you.
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    • A bit about Tbird and HadIt.com for those who've asked...

      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. I would not file the PTSD claim, nor even discuss it. By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friends apartment and pretty much I was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called suicide hot line, I had no job, no idea about going to the VA. They talked with me for a long time and explained to me that I could go to the local VA hospital even if I did not have insurance. Now, I know what you are thinking if I was 50% why didn't I just go to the VA in the first place, two reasons 1, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn't come till May and 2, even if it had come through it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together. I relate this here because it is where so many of our brothers and sisters are coming from, perhaps where you started. Fuzzy and unsure, in pain and sometimes homeless they come to the VA hospital for help. And that is where I ended up. Up to the pysch ward I went, blah, blah, blah, a few days later I was released with a promise of a call from the out patient program, which I would soon be entering. Blah, blah, blah, after many missed communications, and no call backs I was at the Day Hospital everyday M-F. And this brothers and sisters is where I began to learn and formulate my plan for HadIt.com. Veterans, veterans everywhere…I spent a year in the day hospital and about another year at a sheltered workshop before I got back on my feet. So I just talked to veterans everyday waiting for appointments, waiting for prescriptions, waiting for a vet rep and I started to learn the system. While in the navy I was data analyst and had to learn a 5 volume manual and just about anything you were suppose to do was in that manual. So I figured there must be a manual on how to do a VA claim or at the very least regulations. So I found out about the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, Veterans Affairs Manuals and so on and so forth. Of course this was 1991/1992 I was living in a tiny studio apartment in a particularly bad neighborhood, working in a sheltered workshop making a nickel per envelope I stuffed throw in PTSD and you will see that it was a difficult task for me to get somewhere where they had copies of these, let alone that they would let me look at. And there was so much knowledge around me, it was like the gold rush in those days, I could just sit on a bench a veteran would sit down next to me a little conversation later I had another nugget, I made copious notes. Phone numbers to call, ask for this guy or that guy he'll give you the straight scoop and they'd slip me a piece of paper with a number on it. You want to read this regulation or that one and another slip of paper into my hand. I spent a lot of time on those benches watching the squirrels they gathered their nuts and I gathered mine :) So I'm thinking I could put a little handbook together print it out and hand it out at the VA. Or perhaps fliers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better and I go to work for a company as a marketing systems analyst and I discover the internet. Well let me tell you that was perhaps one of the most significant life changing events I have ever experienced. And I might add finally a positive one :) It seemed only natural to me that surely there must be a website that contained all the knowledge I wanted, well as it turned out not so much, lots of stuff but I wanted to get straight to the claims information and there was a lot of stuff to wade through to get to it. So taking my lesson from the squirrels earlier I started to gather, gather, gather…and learn HTML and work as a marketing systems analyst and work my claim. 1996/1997 major PTSD cork blows and unemployed. Working my claim, working the website. 20 Jan 1997 register HadIt.com domain name right after getting off the phone with the VA and saying I've had it with this. As fate would have it the old DAV board goes down just as mine opens up and folks start to wander in. So HadIt.com has two main components the website which supports the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. The website starts to grow, I can't tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features. I continue on a downward trend and in 1998 ended up back home in St Louis living in my sisters basement in therapy and working it, I swear I would have swung a dead chicken around my head at midnight naked if I thought it would have helped. The website continued to do great during this time, I just stayed in the basement bought new software, new books, and learned how to make things work and I continued to use this knowledge to make HadIt.com better. My 100% finally came through from the VA and I had a friend who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim, he was literally at my side thru the entire process and that came through for me. My therapist and sister continued to try and get me to leave the basement, but to no avail. At some point in 1998 or 1999 I put a counter on the website and was shocked to discover how many visitors we were getting. Time goes by my sister gets married and I move from the basement to the upstairs, there is much celebration that Aunt T is living in the light again. More time goes by and I settle into my life in St Louis and spend more time on the site trying new things, finding more information. 2003 I buy my own home VA loan. 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.
    • HadIt.com Pass It On Cards

      Hi I've updated our HadIt.com Pass It On Cards. They are in a PDF format you can print them out cut them there are 12 to a page. If you have found HadIt.com helpful and would like to pass it on to other veterans this is an easy way to do it.I hope you find them helpful, feel free to leave a few anywhere veterans gather, veterans centers, veterans hospitals, public libraries, be creative. Please make sure though, that if you want to leave some at any business you ask permission first.Here you go http://www.hadit.com...it_on_cards.pdf
    • VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index

      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... FL = Fast Letter TL = Training Letter First two numbers = last two digits of year of origin Training Letter http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40694-va-tl-00-07/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40693-va-tl-00-06/ Fast Letter Number Title http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44262-va-fl-11-15/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44260-va-fl-11-13/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44261-va-fl-11-11/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44310-va-fl-11-09/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/42151-va-fl-11-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40957-va-fl-10-49/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40958-va-fl-10-46/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40959-va-fl-10-45/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40960-va-fl-10-42/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40961-va-fl-10-39/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40962-va-fl-10-35/ 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Lumbar Strain, Bulging Disc, Herniated Disc

Question

Posted

Hi,

Can a lumbar strain be a connection to a herniated lumbar disc?

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15 answers to this question

Posted

Yes, I think it can be the result of a severe strain. If you have good evidence of treatment and DX for a back strain in service and have any evidence of on-going treatment or symptoms then I think you can get SC. Back problems usually get worse with time, so if you hurt your back in service and now it has degenerated into herniation you should be able to get that SC'ed. What you need is a medical statement from a back doctor saying the strain led to the herniations.

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Posted

Actually a Lumbar strain is a precurser to herniated disks. That would be the event that caused a herniation.

J

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Posted

The VA doesn't like to change classifications....at least not for me. I am rated Lumbar Strain and have 5 or 6 herniated discs and they have been leaving me rated on the strain.

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Posted

Yes, I think it can be the result of a severe strain. If you have good evidence of treatment and DX for a back strain in service and have any evidence of on-going treatment or symptoms then I think you can get SC. Back problems usually get worse with time, so if you hurt your back in service and now it has degenerated into herniation you should be able to get that SC'ed. What you need is a medical statement from a back doctor saying the strain led to the herniations.

Exactly what happened to me, I hurt my back in service in 88. Went to sick call diagnosed with Lumbar strain and now about 20 years later I have 3 herniated disc nerve damage and left leg is growing smaller due to not able to use it. Chiorpractor self meds back surgery and stimulator implant the back is a funny animal. I had not thought one event could lead to the hell I have experinced but hang in there. I am living proof that you can get the back tied in to SC. I would add that the VA used everything they could to deny me but I only offer is do nto give up. I would also add letters of support from people family friends helped me also. The surgery I cannot tell you to do but I am going to try it as I am burnt out hurting and falling all of the time. Good luck...

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Posted

The VA doesn't like to change classifications....at least not for me. I am rated Lumbar Strain and have 5 or 6 herniated discs and they have been leaving me rated on the strain.

Get a second and a third medical opinion I am not an expert but it took me a while to nail down the exact cuase of what went down with my back. Apply for an increase if you have not did so and use the civillian Docs if you can because so far I had no luck with the VA. Have a good weekend and hang in there us people with bad backs understand. Adios...

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Posted

Bump

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Posted

Thanks.

That is pretty much what happened to me.

Rated for lumbar strain in 2004 and my first MRI was 2007 showing many bulging disc and in 2010 MRI showing herniated disc.

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Posted

Is there anyone here I can emails some specific questions I have about this topic. I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks.

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Posted

How should I request an increase and for what? I have numbness, burning, tingling in legs, and lower back pain.

Thanks.

That is pretty much what happened to me.

Rated for lumbar strain in 2004 and my first MRI was 2007 showing many bulging disc and in 2010 MRI showing herniated disc.

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Posted

Is there anyone here I can emails some specific questions I have about this topic. I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks.

If you have a medical question you can PM me and I'll help you.

Bergie

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Posted

How should I request an increase and for what? I have numbness, burning, tingling in legs, and lower back pain.

Get a doc to check you for sciatia or nerapathy, they when you have proof open a new claim for those secondary to your back. I just got done with that.....I also have the same symptoms as you.

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Posted

Get a doc to check you for sciatia or nerapathy, they when you have proof open a new claim for those secondary to your back. I just got done with that.....I also have the same symptoms as you.

I have degenerative disc disease (DDD) of the entire spine and chronic cervical, thoracic, and lumbar muscle strain...all service connected.

Over the years I have now developed 3 herniated discs with nerve impingement that causes, for a lack of better terms, sciatica (though the symptoms are not 100% exactly the same). The worse condition that developed is a bladder control problem called detrusor-sphincter dyssynergia (DSD).

So in January of this year I filed for the DSD secondary to the DDD as a result of the herniated discs. In March I got a response approving the DSD at 20% but they deferred the herniated disc claim as an actual increase in the DDD.

The herniated discs are a part of the DDD and muscle strain, and due to the rules of pyramiding, they cannot rate the herniated discs separately, so they are currently determining where on the rating % I can be rated at, if there is a higher rating, to increase the current rating I already have for DDD and lumbar muscle strain.

If the OP has sciatica, as you indicated, that is a separate condition that can be claimed secondary to the lumbar condition (if there is a sc rating for it already, otherwise he'd have to pick the primary condition - i.e. DDD or herniated discs - then claim the sciatica as secondary to it).

Though I got a rating for the DSD it matters not as I am already 100% P&T. I filed the claim to get the service connection because for over a year dealing with this increased back problem, and now the DSD, the VA Medical Center I go to have done NOTHING and REFUSES (neurology) to do anything to help me. They (the neurologist) has even gone so far as to deny the objective medical evidence I provided (urodynamic study done outside the VA, for which the VA chief urologist even agreed with) proving the herniated discs are causing a nerve impingement; but that was denied too just because they couldn't see that impingement on the MRI. So, if the VA won't do anything about it, then I plan on getting my Primary VA Dr to give me a referral to an outside facility that specializes in treating the DDD and DSD at the VA's expense (e.g. spinal decompression therapy).

Anyhow, point being is if a new condition develops from a primary rated service connected disability, a veteran, with proper objective medical evidence substantiating the claim, can claim that condition secondary to the primary rated s/c condition.

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Posted

I got SC'ed for Lumbar Strain with radiating pain down legs. The radiating pain is a result of a herniated, well protruding disc pushing on and pinching on the S1. The only way I was able to get that done was go to the best Spinal Neurologist in our area for an IME which cost $320.00. Her CV trumped anybody they would bother with and she did a nexus for the degenerated, buldged,.....back.

So my suggestion is to compile all your MRI's, Service Records, and etc and find a good specialist, show your evidence and make your case how that your current difficulties are a result of your service.

I think a basic point in law is a good argument being the "Reasonable Person" belief concept in which you say would a reasonable person believe these injuries came from me setting at a desk or heavy repetitive lifting over years. I don't know all your details but hope this might help. This does not mean the VA will just say oh well, why didn't you say so! But stick to it.

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Posted

We argued this very issue to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (lumbar strain vs. intervertebral disc syndrome, i.e., slipped disc, bulging disc, ruptured disc, etc.) regarding the lumbar condition being rated under the wrong diagnostic code, the correct one being for IVDS. The VA agreed there was an error, and the Court issued a joint remand back to the Board. We used the VA's own Fast Letter on IVDS from a few years ago as evidence, along with the medical evidence that was available from the date of initial claim 17 years ago and throughout time to the present day.

So, you can appeal it as a CUE, and ask for the correct rating, assuming you have the medical evidence to back it up.

If I remember correctly, I believe the maximum rating for lumbar strain is 40%, whereas the maximum rating for IVDS is higher. This appears to be the reason the VA favors rating lumbar back conditions, regardless of the condition of the discs, under the diagnostic code for strain.

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Posted

Good Luck on your claim. Isn't it nice to have people support you by answering your questions, In my opinion this thread is Hadit when it is at it's best

Tip of the Hat to all who contributed on this thread.

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