What is Chronic Pain Syndrome?

The term “chronic pain syndrome” is a broad phrase used to describe a complex set of conditions that sometimes occur after an injury.  For those suffering from chronic pain syndrome, the consequences can be very serious; this condition may, in fact, cause life-long problems and result in serious disabilities for victims.  Those who have suffered a personal injury accident and have experienced chronic pain syndrome, as a result, may be entitled to compensation from the person or business responsible for the accident.  This compensation may include money to pay for a lifetime of care and treatment as well as damages for loss of ability to work and continuing pain and suffering.

What Is Chronic Pain Syndrome?

While pain is normal after an accident, in a typical pain reaction the feeling subsides as the body heals.  When pain lasts more than 6 months after an accident, it is referred to as “chronic” pain.  Sometimes, an injury can cause pain that lasts for years.  Such long-term suffering can take an immense toll on the victim’s physical and emotional well-being.

While chronic pain is debilitating, about a quarter of those who experience it will become worse, developing a condition known as chronic pain syndrome.  CPS is diagnosed when a patient has other symptoms such as depression or anxiety that interfere with living a healthy, happy life.

No one is quite sure exactly why some patients develop CPS while others do not.  At the beginning of any CPS case is an injury that results in pain; however, some victims seem to recover fully, while others are never quite the same.    Injuries to joints, the back, the neck and the head seem to be most likely to result in CPS, but not all of these injuries result in chronic pain, and not all CPS cases are these types of injuries.  CPS can also develop sometimes after surgical procedures, particularly when the surgery has been mishandled in some way.

What Are The Symptoms of CPS?

Patients suffering from chronic pain syndrome often display similar symptoms, even when their injuries are not the same.  Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Anxiety and Depression. Many people who suffer from CPS develop severe psychological issues such as extreme anxiety or deep depression.  Those suffering from these issues often need intensive counseling support to avoid further problems.
  • Sleep issues. Lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of health issues, both physical and mental.  People who suffer from sleep disorders can further injure themselves or develop other chronic diseases as a result of their lack of sleep.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse. In trying to rid themselves of the chronic pain, patients can develop dependencies on drugs and alcohol and may come to depend on increasing doses of painkillers to be able to function.  Job loss, family problems, and other issues may develop as a result of these dependencies.

Can CPS Be Treated?

While chronic pain syndrome is not easy to treat, there are some treatments that seem to have a positive effect.  Many of these involve intense physical therapy and emotional counseling and support.  Things like meditation, hypnosis, and massage have all been tried and have had mixed effects.  It is possible that some people respond better to CPS treatments than others based on their different pain responses.  Experts are unsure why, but some people seem to have a more highly-developed response to painful stimuli than others.

If you have been injured and need help collecting compensation to pay for medical treatment, the attorneys at Barber & Associates are here to help.  Call us today to learn more about how we can work with you to ensure your rights are protected.

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