What Is Chronic Pain Syndrome?

Chronic pain syndrome is a disabling set of conditions that affect about 25 percent of those with serious injuries.  According to a recent study, chronic pain is the leading complaint among ambulatory patients after surgery or injury.  Chronic pain can impact all areas of a patient’s life and lead to depression, anxiety, and other long-term effects.

What Happens When Someone Has Chronic Pain Syndrome?

The mechanism of chronic pain is not well understood.  What we do know is that at least one out of four individuals who suffer a serious injury will also develop CPS.  The symptoms may include:

  • Continuous burning or throbbing in a localized area of the body—often in a hand, foot, leg, or arm
  • Sensitivity to temperature change or touch
  • Swelling in the area where the pain is located
  • Alternating between sweaty, clammy skin and cold, dry skin
  • Changes in hair and nail growth as well as skin texture
  • Stiffness, swelling, and damage in the joints
  • Atrophy or loss of use in muscles, as well as spasms and tremors
  • Loss of movement in affected body parts

Chronic pain syndrome may manifest almost immediately after an injury, or it could take some time to develop.  Researchers speculate that a complex series of reactions lead to CPS, so it is difficult to pinpoint exactly who will suffer from this condition or when it will strike.

At this time, there is no recognized cure for CPS, although doctors may be able to treat the symptoms with a combination of physical therapy, prescription drugs, and counseling.

What If I Suffer CPS After An Injury?

When someone suffers a personal injury, insurance companies and others have an interest in settling the case quickly.  They know that if the victim learns that he or she is suffering from a life-long condition, the cost of settling the case will go up.  Therefore, they try to rush to settlement so that the victim has no chance to take a future look at the problems that may arise.  The reality of this is that many victims settle their cases too soon and for too little.  Then, if they develop a condition like CPS, they have no recourse to recover monetary damages for the pain and suffering they will endure for a lifetime.

Because you may be giving up so much by making a quick settlement, it is wise to think about your options first.  Even if an insurance company offers you what seems to be a large settlement for your injury, you cannot know if you will need more than this amount to treat future problems like CPS.  Therefore, quick settlements are not usually in your best interest as the victim of a personal injury.

Instead, talk to the professionals at Barber & Associates.  We have been representing victims of personal injury in Alaska for many years, and we are here to help you understand your rights and make the best possible settlement of your case.  Contact us today to learn more.

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