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There's no test for back pain.

"I have been having severe back pain and it's been effecting me working and even duties around the house. I'm trying to receive disability and keep getting turned down. I want to work but it's hard when you have back problems"--Ms. R.

There's so much we can say in response to Ms. R. After all, it is a story we hear much too often, and it doesn't get easier to hear with time. Granted, everyone has experienced a bout with back pain once or twice in his or her life. But, to live with it on a constant, daily basis is a whole different story.


The biggest concern when it comes to back pain revolves around subjective pain. To clarify, back impairments are often objective; MRI scan and x-rays may easily indicate the culprit of pain. However, back pain is subjective. Regardless if tests and scans come back with or without evidence to indicate the cause of the pain, no one knows what you are going through, because there is no test for pain.

You might wonder what to do about your pain when it comes to applying for disability, especially knowing there is no specific test to measure your level of pain. Quite possibly, the most important thing you can do is to make sure you're telling your doctor each time you visit. Most doctor's offices record pain on a comparative pain scale, giving you a scale from one to ten (with ten being the worst pain ever) and asking you where you would place your own pain level along the scale. Additionally, it's in your best interest to be as specific as you can with your pain. Is it sharp? Shooting? Burning? Whatever you're feeling, it's best to let your doctors know.

If you feel as though your pain has reached a level that has begun to interfere with not only your ability to maintain employment, but also your ability to maintain your activities of daily living, there are options for you. We won't try to tell you we understand, because we know only you know the pain you are living with. But, we will try to help you in anyway we can; it's just a part of the way we do things Better and Nicer at Binder & Binder®

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