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An Easy Guide to Understanding Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a persistent medical condition. It often is difficult to treat and may be triggered by an injury or accident, such as a motor vehicle crash or a slip and fall. Short or Long Term Disability benefits may be available for individuals who are unable to work because of their condition.

Understanding the Basics of Chronic Pain

Acute pain is the body’s normal reaction to stimuli, such as the sensation felt when accidently placing a hand on a hot stove. Chronic pain is vastly different than acute pain – it doesn’t serve a biological function, such as defending the body against external threats.

Chronic pain initially may be triggered by an injury, illness or traumatic event, such as a fall down the stairs or a rear-end collision. Some sufferers cannot trace their pain to a single incident or underlying medical condition. Chronic pain, as the name suggests, can continue for days, weeks, months or years after the initial injury incident.

What are the common signs and symptoms of chronic pain?

A medical professional with experience treating patients with chronic pain can provide the most comprehensive evaluation.

Some of the common signs and signals of chronic pain include:

  • back pain (especially in the lower back);
  • headache; and
  • arthritic pain (such as in the hands and joints).

Chronic pain is most commonly diagnosed in older adults, but can affect children and young adults alike. Those who suffer additional medical conditions – such as cancer or immune disorders – are more likely to experience chronic pain.

What are the treatment options for chronic pain?

There is no known single cure for chronic pain. Doctors, psychologists or other health care professionals may employ a number of treatment options to help patients cope with the effects of the condition:

  • over-the-counter and prescription medications (strong medications may make it difficult or impossible to work);
  • acupuncture;
  • surgery;
  • relaxation therapy; and
  • local electrical stimulation.

The source of pain may determine treatment. It may include any combination of techniques, depending on patient response and efficacy.

How Chronic Pain Impacts a Person’s Life

Chronic pain can interfere with a person’s professional and recreational pursuits. It also may impact social and familial relationships.

Those who suffer from chronic pain may report:

  • a lack of energy;
  • difficulty performing simple tasks, like bathing, cooking or cleaning the house;
  • depression;
  • anxiety;
  • isolation; and
  • problems sleeping.

Those who experience chronic pain may be at increased risk of misusing alcohol or prescription pain medication in efforts to mask physical and emotional pain. Sufferers may have difficulty proving the existence of chronic pain because there may be no physical evidence to accompany the condition.

Was your chronic pain caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness – such as a drunk driving accident or slip and fall in a commercial building? Have your Long Term Disability benefits for chronic pain been denied? The team at Preszler Injury Lawyers is committed to helping our clients, including injured victims and insurance claimants, receive the compensation they are owed. Call 1-800-JUSTICE® or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.


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Ottawa ON
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