When you have an injury, you experience acute pain. It is a sign of rapid onset injury to the body, brought on by tissue damage. Acute pain can be mild or severe. It can be momentary, lasting only until the cause of the pain is removed, or it can last for weeks or months until it responds to treatment or the injury heals. In either event, it has a distinct beginning and end.
In contrast, chronic pain lasts. Chronic pain persists beyond the usual recovery period for a known injury. There is usually a physiologic explanation for chronic pain, it is very real, and it is not “all in your head”. Still, it is difficult to diagnose, it is not visible on an X-ray or other objective tests, and it is often misunderstood or underappreciated by family members, friends, employers, and the insurance company responsible for paying your claim. We do understand.
Examples of chronic pain conditions that may be associated with trauma include:
REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY (RSD) OR COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME (CRPS):
This is a chronic neurological syndrome that can occur either in the presence or in the absence of direct nerve damage. Classic symptoms can include burning pain, extreme sensitivity to touch, and skin changes in the affected area such as redness, warmth, swelling, or sweating. Pain may appear to be out of proportion to the original traumatic injury.
MYOFASCIAL PAIN SYNDROME:
This is a painful condition affecting skeletal muscles in the body. It can cause local or referred pain, tightness, tenderness, stiffness, and muscle weakness. It is characterized by trigger points which cause referred pain in a defined pattern for specific muscles, restricted range of motion, and localized muscle twitching. Acute onset can occur after a traumatic event.
This is characterized by chronic widespread pain and tenderness. It can be triggered by a physically traumatic event or an emotionally stressful event. The pain can change locations and intensity from day to day. There may be localized areas of tenderness around various joints in the body.
Chronic pain can interfere with your ability to work, to sleep, and to function in your day to day activities. Relentless pain can bring on depression, stress, and anxiety. It can affect your personal relationships. It can cost you your job. Treatment is focused on controlling your pain and can be extremely expensive. The insurance company and/or the jury must be made to understand that your treatment is necessary. It is essential that you have an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure the insurance company and/or the jury recognize the devastating effects of chronic pain on your quality of life.
At the Law Offices of Kroger-Diamond & Campos, we can refer you to certified pain management physicians for specialized treatment. We work with medical experts who can testify on your behalf. If you have developed chronic pain after being injured in a motor vehicle crash, falls, or other accidents resulting from someone else’s negligence, call the Law Offices of Kroger-Diamond & Campos.
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