Sedentary Work Exerting up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and other sedentary criteria are met.

Light Work Exerting up to 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force occasionally and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Sedentary Work. Light Work usually requires walking or standing to a significant degree. However, if the use of the arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most the time, the job is rated Light Work.

Medium Work Exerting up to 50 (22.7 kg) pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds (11.3 kg) of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of forces constantly to move objects.

Heavy Work Exerting up to 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or up to 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Very Heavy Work Exerting in excess of 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Job Classification

In most duration tables, five job classifications are displayed. These job classifications are based on the amount of physical effort required to perform the work. The classifications correspond to the Strength Factor classifications described in the United States Department of Labor's Dictionary of Occupational Titles. The following definitions are quoted directly from that publication.

Sedentary Work Exerting up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and other sedentary criteria are met.

Light Work Exerting up to 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force occasionally and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Sedentary Work. Light Work usually requires walking or standing to a significant degree. However, if the use of the arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most the time, the job is rated Light Work.

Medium Work Exerting up to 50 (22.7 kg) pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds (11.3 kg) of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of forces constantly to move objects.

Heavy Work Exerting up to 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or up to 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Very Heavy Work Exerting in excess of 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Spinal Stenosis


Related Terms

  • Cervical Stenosis
  • Lumbar Stenosis
  • Narrowing of Spinal Canal

Differential Diagnosis

Specialists

  • Neurologist
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Orthopedic (Orthopaedic) Surgeon
  • Physiatrist (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist)
  • Physical Therapist

Comorbid Conditions

Factors Influencing Duration

The severity of pain, the severity of the neurologic deficit, comorbid vascular disease, the individual's age and overall health, and the type and success of treatment will influence the length of disability. Once severe spinal stenosis with neurologic deficit becomes evident, the individual is rarely capable of heavy or very heavy work. Following lumbar spinal stenosis decompression surgery, heavy and very heavy work are usually no longer appropriate.

Medical Codes

ICD-9-CM:
723.0 - Spinal Stenosis In Cervical Region
724.0 - Spinal Stenosis, Other than Cervical
724.00 - Spinal Stenosis, Other than Cervical, Unspecified Region
724.01 - Spinal Stenosis, Other than Cervical, Thoracic Region
724.02 - Spinal Stenosis, Other than Cervical, Lumbar Region, without neurogenic claudication; Lumbar region NOS
724.09 - Spinal Stenosis, Other than Cervical, Other
724.9 - Other Unspecified Back Disorders; Ankylosis of Spine NOS; Compression of Spinal Nerve Root NEC; Spinal Disorder NOS

Overview

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, the passageway in the spinal column, made of stacked vertebrae, through which the spinal cord and nerves pass. Spinal stenosis primarily occurs in the low back (lumbar spine) but may also occur in the middle back (thoracic spine) and the neck (cervical spine).

Stenosis is classified as primary or secondary stenosis. Primary stenosis, which is also called congenital stenosis, is a developmental abnormality that results in narrowing of the canal. It is usually diagnosed in younger individuals who develop symptoms of stenosis. Secondary stenosis is a degenerative condition associated with changes in the spine that occur as part of the natural aging process. Changes may include bone spur or osteophyte formation, facet hypertrophy, bulging discs, and ligamentous hypertrophy. Secondary stenosis can also occur as a result of back surgery or trauma (acquired stenosis). Secondary stenosis is the most common type of spinal stenosis.

Individuals may also have a combined form in which primary stenosis is worsened by the development of secondary stenosis. The combined form occurs in individuals who are born with narrow spinal canals, which undergo further narrowing as a result of degenerative or postoperative changes.

In lumbar stenosis, narrowing of the spinal canal compresses the neural elements and reduces the blood supply to the nerves that supply sensation and motor control to the legs. Individuals most commonly present with complaints of fatigue or heaviness in their legs that occurs with walking and is relieved by sitting. In severe cases, even the nerves controlling bowel and bladder emptying may be affected. There are three places where the spinal nerves might be compressed, and the stenosis may be described by location: in the central canal of the spinal column (central stenosis), as the nerves leave the spinal column (foraminal stenosis), or just after the nerve has left the canal (lateral stenosis). Foraminal stenosis is the most common and typically affects the roots that comprise the sciatic nerve.

Incidence and Prevalence: Five in 1,000 individuals over age 50, or about 250,000 to 500,000 individuals in the US, have symptoms of spinal stenosis (Hsaing). Because most individuals with mild spinal stenosis have no symptoms, the incidence can only be approximated. Symptoms do not occur until narrowing of the spinal canal has progressed enough to impinge on the nerve root(s) or the spinal cord. Seventy-five percent of spinal stenosis cases occur in the lumbar spine (Ray). Because the US population is aging, prevalence is expected to increase, growing by 18 million within the next decade (Hsaing).

Source: Medical Disability Advisor






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