Musculoskeletal disorders, also referred to as MSD, are injuries and disorders that impact one’s musculoskeletal system. This system consists of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which work to support the body and assist with movement. MSD impacts these parts of the body, making activities difficult and often resulting in extreme pain. The most common types include trauma, arthritis, and back pain.
Trauma: Any trauma-related injury means the event caused a long-lasting physical harm. Trauma-related injuries usually require the individual to make drastic, and often painful or difficult, changes to their daily lifestyle.
Arthritis: This is when one or more joints in the body are inflamed, causing pain and stiffness. Risk and intensity of arthritis can increase with age.
Back pain: Essentially any sort of physical discomfort anywhere in the spine and back region. Common causes include lifting heavy objects or wearing a heavy backpack for a prolonged period, but back pain can also be caused by events such as car accidents.
These injuries may not always heal completely, and those who have a musculoskeletal disorder may experience painful flare-ups. In some cases, these flare-ups may be predictable if they result from repeated usage of that body part. However, in most circumstances, it is hard to determine the causing factor.
When the VA determines what rating to apply to an injury, they mainly focus on the resulting loss of function. More specifically, this means examining how much of an impact the injury has on one’s ability to live their life. With musculoskeletal disorders, individuals may be able to carry out most typical activities in the absence of flare-ups. The VA does not allocate a higher rating to these disorders. Additionally, the veteran will receive the lowest compensable rating.
Pain from flare-ups may be debilitating, but flare ups are largely irrelevant when it comes to determining a rating. Instead, it will be based off the limited range of motion in area like the knees, ankles, shoulders, and back. Recently, the Court has ordered VA examiners to account for veteran statements concerning their experiences when deciding if their flare-ups warrant higher compensation.
Receiving compensation that fails to represent the extent of your injury may be incredibly frustrating. Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law is a veteran’s disability firm fighting for veterans nationwide. To learn more about how we can help in your case, contact our office today. We are here to help you pursue the benefits you need for your musculoskeletal injuries.