One of the most common type of cases I see in my practice are those in which a client is seeking disability benefits due to some type of spinal disorder and resulting back pain. The difference between successful and unsuccessful claims involving back pain turns largely on the medical evidence and active treatment efforts made by the claimant.
Although the judge in your case will be interested in your description of your symptoms and how these symptoms affect your life, the most important piece of the puzzle is some form of objective evidence. In other words, an MRI or x-ray that has been interpreted by a medical professional as indicating some type of spinal disorder. Your descriptions of back pain and testimony about how your back pain limits your life will not be convincing by itself. The judge will want to see diagnosed medical problems that were informed by x-rays, MRIs, and the like.
Active ongoing treatment is also very significant. If you are not taking active measures to treat or mitigate your back pain, the judge will be less likely to be convinced that your back pain is disabling. Although many people are justifiably skittish about turning to certain forms of medications for relief, the judge in your case is less likely to believe that your conditions are truly disabling if you are not seeking pain relief through medication. It is also helpful if you have a history of physical or occupational therapy treatments. The more potential pain remedies you have unsuccessfully explored, the more likely the judge is to believe that your pain symptoms are permanent and uncontrollable.
When it comes time for your hearing, be prepared to explain potentially bad facts to the judge. For example, if you have reported to your medical providers that you have been gardening, shoveling snow, or other physical activities, be prepared to be asked about this by the judge. Perhaps it is the case that you only occasionally garden and can only do so for a few minutes before needing a break. Be prepared to make distinctions such as this during your hearing.
If you are interested in pursuing disability benefits for back pain, it is always a good idea to speak to a law firm specializing in disability claims. An experienced disability law firm can maximize your chances of a successful claim.