When the tendons (the connective tissues between the muscles and bones) become inflamed, it can result in serious chronic pain. Tendinitis is often caused by repetitive movement over an extended period. This condition can make it hard to work due to its symptoms and related complications.
If you have suffered from tendinitis for at least a year and it has prevented you from working, you may be able to obtain disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA will assess your medical records and work history, among other factors, to make a disability determination.
A Social Security Disability attorney in Green Bay is ready to help you get the disability claims process started. If you have already been denied benefits, we know what it takes to appeal the decision. There is no cost or risk to you to learn more about how we may be able to help in an initial consultation.
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What is Tendinitis?
Tendinitis (or tendonitis) is an inflammation or irritation of the tendons in the joints. This inflammation can cause pain – often described as a dull ache – and tenderness in the affected area.
People diagnosed with this condition may also experience mild swelling and stiffness that causes limited range of motion. This is because the joints are unable to properly function. While tendinitis can happen in any tendon, it is most common around the shoulders, elbows, wrists and knees.
How Tendinitis Impacts Ability to Work
Tendinitis is often seen among people who work in jobs that require forceful exertion, frequent overhead reaching and awkward positions. Workers in construction and manufacturing who are routinely exposed to vibrations may be more likely to develop tendinitis.
For people whose jobs involve fine motor skills, tendinitis can make work very painful. Writing, typing and performing other computer-related tasks for an extended period may not be possible. Workers can take time to rest, but the pain and limited mobility may return once they resume these tasks.
With other repetitive movements, such as yard work, sweeping and mopping, tendinitis can also significantly impact one’s ability to work. People whose jobs require a lot of physical activity may need to stay home until the pain and inflammation have subsided. Even then, returning to work may be hard.
Tendinitis is more likely to impact those who suffer from arthritis or autoimmune disorders that increase inflammation. People working in physically demanding jobs without adequate conditioning could be at an increased risk for tendinitis and more vulnerable to sustaining other ailments.
Obtaining Disability Benefits for Tendinitis
You may be able to obtain disability benefits if you can show that your tendinitis will affect you for at least a year and will keep you from working. You need sufficient medical evidence, such as a detailed opinion from your treating doctor and lab tests or results from a physical exam.
You will need to show proof of your diagnosis and your ongoing symptoms, as well as proof of how you are affected by your symptoms. This includes a clear explanation of how your job led you to develop tendinitis. Your doctor must provide a written statement confirming your tendinitis was due to your job.
Tendinitis is not listed in the SSA Blue Book. However, you may qualify under Listing 1.18: Abnormality of a major joint(s) in any extremity. (This listing has replaced Listing 1.02: Major dysfunction of a joint).
This listing requires having a condition that causes:
- Chronic joint pain or stiffness
- Abnormal motion, instability or immobility of the affected joint
- Anatomical abnormality of the affected joint as noted on a physical exam or imaging
For instance, if you can prove that your tendinitis is severe enough that it leaves you unable to perform fine and gross movements, you may be eligible for disability.
You will generally need to undergo a residual functional capacity assessment to determine what types of work you may be able to do despite your condition. The SSA will look at whether you can perform full-time work without having to stop and rest frequently or take time off.
Importance of Consistent Medical Treatment
Having a record of consistent medical treatment after being diagnosed with tendinitis is important because it shows that you are taking things seriously. If you have tried different treatments and still cannot work due to your symptoms, your disability claim may have a greater chance at being approved.
Treating tendinitis may include having to take certain medications to reduce pain and inflammation. Corticosteroid injections into the affected area may bring some relief. Physical therapy may also help strengthen the surrounding muscles and prevent any further injury.
In the most severe cases, the tendon may tear, requiring surgery to repair the damage. Surgery may also be done to remove tendon scar tissue to reduce pain and inflammation and improve range of motion.
Not seeking or delaying treatment for tendinitis could hurt your credibility when applying for disability benefits. The SSA may question your claim that you are unable to work since you lack evidence that treatment may not be working. The SSA may assume that you are able to return to work with treatment.
Have Questions About Social Security Disability?
At Sigman Janssen, we have helped many disability claimants over the years obtain disability benefits from the SSA. We are available anytime, day or night, to take your call and answer any questions you may have about Social Security Disability. The initial consultation is 100 percent free and confidential.
There is no upfront fee to retain our services and no fees unless we help you get approved for benefits.
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