The Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms

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The Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms Overview
Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms Ratings

The Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms Overview 

The VA awards disability compensation for each condition of the Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms that is service-connected. The DoD will also rate service-connected conditions as long as they also make the service member Unfit for Duty. For Reservists, the condition must have occurred in or resulted from an injury in the Line of Duty to qualify.

The nervous system connects the brain to the rest of the body. Impulses travel up the nerves and spinal cord to the brain, and the brain then turns these impulses into ideas like pain, heat, etc. Similarly, the brain can send signals through the nerves to various parts of the body, telling it to raise the arm, point the toes, expand the lungs to breath, etc.

The nervous system is divided into two parts: the central nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain, the spinal cord, and the cranial nerves. The peripheral nervous system is made up of all the nerves that travel from the spinal cord to the rest of the body.

The Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms extend from the spinal cord in the upper back and travel down the arms, controlling the movements of the shoulders, arms, and hands. 

The majority of conditions of the Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms are rated on the functioning of the affected body part and the symptoms that they cause. These symptoms could numbness, pain, muscle atrophy, the inability to properly move the arms, paralysis of the arms, etc. 

To honor the Pyramiding Principle, only a single rating can usually be given for multiple conditions of the Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms since it is often impossible to separate the symptoms. In situations where multiple Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms are affected, a single rating is given for the group of nerves affected or under the code that best covers the symptoms (see Ratings of the Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms page).

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Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms Ratings

The VASRD offers ratings for the following Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms:

The ratings for each of these Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms and groups are split between three codes: Paralysis, Neuritis, and Neuralgia. The ratings are assigned based on the type of nerve damage and the symptoms present or on limited motion of an affected joint if that would provide for a higher rating. In cases where the cause of the limited motion is the peripheral nerve condition, then only a rating for the nerve or limited motion can be given, not both. However, if the limited motion is caused by another condition, then both the limited motion and the peripheral nerve can be rated separately. 

In addition to or instead of the standard disability compensation for Peripheral Nerves of the Upper Back and Arms conditions, complete paralysis resulting in the loss of use of the hand or arm may also qualify for Special Monthly Compensation

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