Chronic or persistent pain is pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment, and can often persist for months or longer. Especially after an injury, such as a road accident or fall, long after the initial physical damage has healed, the pain lingers on with no obvious cause.
This is opposite to more common acute pain that lets you know that your body is injured. This type of pain usually doesn’t last long and should go away as your body heals.
What causes chronic pain?
One of the most common triggers of chronic pain disorder is an injury, however there are sometimes no identifiable trigger to the pain which can be very hard for patients and can result in a lack of understanding and compassion from their friends, family and sometimes even their doctors.
- Injury – Chronic pain is estimated to affect 20% of adults and can be caused by a musculoskeletal injury (involving the bones, muscles, or joints), often through no fault of your own, for example caused by a road accident or a fall. In some circumstances, confusingly, the onset of chronic pain syndrome does not begin until sometime after the injury has occurred.
- Nervous system dysfunction, chronic diseases, and autoimmune disorders – In some cases, chronic pain disorder is linked to a known condition; this may not make it any easier to bear but it can be reassuring to know the cause.
- No identifiable trigger – There are a number of conditions where there’s no obvious trigger or cause, and pain itself is the primary presenting symptom (rather than accompanying restricted movement as in back pain, for example). For these individuals, diagnosis can be rather more convoluted, with no tests or investigations which can provide an answer. In many cases it’s simply diagnosis by exclusion; ruling out all other possible causes and making a clinical judgement based on presenting symptoms.
Common examples of chronic pain include:
- frequent headaches
- nerve damage pain
- low back pain
- arthritis pain
- fibromyalgia pain
- Post Whiplash Injury Syndrome
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
The pain can be described as:
- a dull ache
Additionally, people with chronic pain often have other symptoms such as feeling tired, having trouble sleeping, or mood changes. The pain itself often leads to other symptoms including low self-esteem, anger, depression, anxiety, or frustration, therefore it is important to try and get answers to your chronic pain syndrome to be able to manage it.
Living with chronic pain
Chronic pain cannot be prevented and there is often nothing you can do to rid yourself of the pain, however there are many treatments available that can reduce how much pain you have and how often it occurs, allowing you to control and manage the chronic pain.
Managing and making changes to your lifestyle are an important part of treatment for chronic pain. This includes getting regular sleep at night, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising moderately every day, and taking care of yourself.
Living with chronic pain syndrome can be exhausting and completely dominate each and every day so managing it effectively is a priority.
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, CRPS, or any chronic pain condition as a result of an accident that was not your fault, and even if you have an existing claim, get in touch with Brian Barr Solicitors to see if we can assist. It is simple and hassle free to move your claim to Brian Barr Solicitors who are experts in dealing with chronic pain litigation. Call us today on 0161 737 9248 or visit our website (www.brianbarr.co.uk) to find out more.