I had a hearing this week with a woman who had all sorts of problems with her spine. We had the MRI reports and the X-rays and the doctors's opinions. But the case turned on a simple question from the judge: What position gives you the most relief? The woman replied that walking was best for her. I saw a moment of recognition and delight on the judge's face. "A number of medical experts have told me," the judge said, "that you know you are dealing with a person whose
back problems are legit if she says that walking provides relief." I had never heard of this, despite blogging on back pain and medical research for years. The judge explained that walking is better than sitting or standing for people with bad backs because walking distributes a person's weight and put less pressure on the spine. Is that true? I'm not sure. When my back aches, I don't find much relief in walking. But the important thing here is that the judge believes that walking relieves back pain. This claimant is going to win her case, as she should have. But not for any of the reasons I thought she would. There is an old saying about being lucky versus being good. Perhaps this is evidence of that or at least cause to consider that all the preparation in the world can be trumped by a single answer to a single question.