• If you have suffered a “soft tissue injury” most experienced doctors will tell you that all tissues in the human body usually complete their healing processes after up to 6 months. If the pain persists beyond that time and carries on indefinitely despite treatment, then you might be classified as suffering from Chronic Pain.

    The cause of Chronic Pain is not entirely understood. However, it is believed to be due to changes in the central nervous system (i.e. the brain and spinal chord). It is known that widespread areas of the brain are involved in Chronic Pain. The problem for sufferers of Chronic Pain is that the changes to the central nervous system will not show up on any x-ray. Chronic Pain has therefore been described as “invisible” and can be present even when there is no physical sign of damage.

    The pain that is felt by the sufferer is often very real and not imagined. Those suffering from Chronic Pain can become frustrated by the lack of progress and also sometimes by the lack of understanding from their treating doctors. Whilst there has been significant development in the understanding of Chronic Pain, there can also be widespread ignorance of the problem, even within the medical profession. This can make the sufferer feel isolated and that no-one believes them. However, as knowledge of Chronic Pain grows so should an understanding of the problem.

    The condition potentially falls within the definition of a disability as described in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Therefore, sufferers with Chronic Pain are generally entitled to the reasonable adjustments to be made both in terms of their workplace and with access to public facilities. Chronic Pain can have a very negative impact on the sufferer’s quality of life and many have to give up activities in their social, domestic and working life.

    A number of Pain Management Centres have been set up around the country, for example, in St Thomas’ Hospital in London. The latter offers a residential pain management course designed to teach strategies to enable patients to manage their ongoing pain more effectively, and encouraging cessation of any pain relief medication because that can be ineffective against Chronic Pain. As knowledge of this problem improves, so does the choice of options available to treat it.

    A recent client suffering from Chronic Pain was fitted with a Neuromodulation Device which does not cure the problem, but provides an alternative sensation to the pain. Whilst not all treatments work for every patient, the NMD in conjunction with pain management strategies can improve the quality of life of a Chronic Pain sufferer. Sadly, Chronic Pain is never cured, but significant steps have been made to assist a sufferer in greatly reducing the level of pain they will experience for the rest of their life.

    If you are genuinely suffering from Chronic Pain following an accident caused by someone else’s fault, we can help you obtain compensation for Chronic Pain and, where possible, funding for treatment for Chronic Pain. For many making a claim for compensation for Chronic Pain may be the only practical way of accessing full treatment for Chronic Pain.

    This content is correct at time of publication

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