What is Chronic Pain?
03 March 2021
Chronic Pain is pain which persists for a long time (usually at least 12 weeks). We explain the different types of chronic pain and potential causes.
Types of chronic pain
According to the Journal of Observational Medicine, there are different types of Chronic Pain:
- Myofascial Pain - pain arising from soft tissues, such as whiplash where a road accident causes trauma to the neck or back
- Neuropathic pain - pain arising from a nerve injury
- Other pain which may or may not be associated with the nerves, such as pain from a trauma which then spreads to other parts of the body
It's possible to categorise some pain into known syndromes or conditions, such as Fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Somatoform Disorder and Chronic Pain. A doctor who specialises in this area of medicine can carry out tests and help to provide a diagnosis for the pain symptoms.
These types of pain conditions are recognised conditions and are classified in the Judicial College Guidelines (these are the guidelines judges use to assess the level of compensation in a personal injury claim).
Causes of chronic pain
Chronic pain can develop for a number of reasons, but it is possible for an accident or injury to cause chronic pain.
If someone has been injured in an accident that wasn't their fault, and this has resulted in a chronic pain condition, they might be able to claim compensation. Once fault for the accident has been established, it needs to be established that the pain condition was caused by (or made worse by) that accident.
The cause of the condition might be disputed by the other side in a claim. Ultimately it is for medical experts to determine whether the pain condition has been caused by the accident.
Chronic pain treatment
Pain consultants, rheumatologists and psychiatrists can help with the diagnosis of a chronic pain condition and can offer various options regarding treatment as well as the prospects for recovery.
The aim of chronic pain treatment is to improve the level of function for the individual. Depending on what condition is diagnosed, treatment can consist of a multidisciplinary approach, often involving psychiatric or psychological treatment. This might involve cognitive behavior therapy, medication and physical therapy.
Making a personal injury claim for chronic pain
When making a personal injury claim for chronic pain there are potential challenges to be aware of. The person defending the claim might dispute that they were responsible for causing the chronic pain condition, or that the individual isn't suffering from a chronic pain condition at all.
However, it's important to note that people who are suffering from persistent pain conditions are entitled to compensation, especially given the detrimental effect this can have on their lives.
If you have developed chronic pain as a result of an accident and would like to know more about claiming compensation, our Personal Injury Solicitors can help you.