Chronic or persistent pain is pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. Chronic pain is usually caused by an initial injury and develops after nerves become damaged. The nerve damage makes pain more intense and long lasting. In these cases, treating the underlying injury may not resolve the chronic pain.
Chronic pain can be difficult to diagnose and therefore often overlooked in compensation cases. There is no single test for a diagnoses, and it will depend on the individual symptoms presented in each case. We are able to apply our experience in working with victims and their families to help you secure the help you need.
There are different types of chronic pain including:
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), also known as Begum Syndrome and also Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD); a chronic and progressive condition caused by an injury to the sympathetic nerves, resulting in severe pain.
The condition can be catastrophic, permanent and disabling. Many describe a severe burning pain, even though the part of the body that has been injured feels cold. There may be change in the temperature of the hand or foot and sensitivity even to light touch. Frequently, there will be swelling and a change in skin colour in the affected area.
Complex pain syndrome usually affects a single limb but sometimes spreads into other parts of the body. It can affect every part of the limb in question from the skin to the joints.
CRPS is often caused by traumatic incidents such as car accidents or slips, trips and falls, with the resulting injury developing into CRPS or related pain syndrome conditions for no known reason.
The definition of CRPS has changed regularly through the years and there are now two separate recognised types:
- Type I – often known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy with no evidence of nerve lesions
- Type II – often known as causalgia with clear evidence of nerve lesions and damage
The treatment programmes for CRPS vary greatly and often include pain relief, physiotherapy and self-management and lifestyle changes. Some individuals may also require psychological support and counselling.
Neuropathic pain caused by damage or injury to the nerves that transfer information between the brain and spinal cord from the skin, muscles and other parts of the body.
The pain is usually described as a burning sensation and affected areas are often sensitive to the touch. Symptoms of neuropathic pain may also include excruciating pain, pins and needles, difficulty correctly sensing temperatures and numbness. Some people may find it hard to wear thick clothes as even slight pressure can aggravate the pain.
Myofascial pain syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), is a chronic pain condition affecting the musculoskeletal system. Persistent muscle pain presents as sensitive spots known as trigger points. These areas develop in the taut, ropey bands of the muscles (the fascia). When pressure is applied to these trigger points there is pain (called referred pain) in a different part of the body.
How we can help
We are a leading Personal Injury Solicitor, particularly in cases where chronic pain has been caused by an injury. We know how debilitating the conditions can be and will assist with claims for Total Permanent Disability under Critical Illness Policies or Accident Protection Policies.
We can help guide you sensitively through this period of uncertainty and help you recover the appropriate amount of compensation in relation to your injury to safeguard your financial future. Contact specialist Solicitor Colin Cook to discuss your specific circumstances.
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Please contact one of the team to discuss your specific requirements.