Quick question. Can DDD in the lower lumbar progress all the way up into the thoracic and cervical spine so that these parts of the spine are also degenerating?
The VA is trying to say my husband's "lower lumbar strain" (that's a joke) is not related to his thoracic and cervical spine condition. He definitely had the lower lumbar injury first while on active duty, but over the last 15 years or so since he's been out of the military, his whole entire spine has deteriorated. He is a very sedentary guy, so we can only assume that as a grunt in the Marine Corps, he did major damage to his whole back carrying 70lb packs while running with no support, fighting in Desert Shield/Storm, training, etc. You get the idea. This is what the VA doc said in his exam report from this past February's exam;
"You were assessed with a thoracic strain, which the examiner opined (uh huh, his opinion) is less likely than not due to your chronic lumbar strain, AS A LUMBAR STRAIN IS NOT MEDICALLY KNOWN TO CAUSE A THORACIC STRAIN."
He opined the same thing for the cervical strain as well. So, I need to know if this guy is right, or can a spine injury start in the lower lumbar and progress upward throughout the entire spine.
We are convinced that he's had this thoracic and cervical spine condition the whole time he's had the lower lumbar injury, but since he didn't complain about it while on active duty, they can't pin it on active duty service.
Thanks for your help with this!