An acute injury in a car accident oftentimes causes some type of discomfort, ranging from mild to severe. Generally any pain associated with the injury will eventually subside once the patient receives proper treatment. In some cases it may require medication for a period of time to manage the pain.
But some accident victims may be unable to find relief from chronic pain even with treatment. Pain is typically considered chronic when it lasts several months. Like an acute injury, the degree of pain can also vary. It may be mildly uncomfortable or downright debilitating. Chronic pain can come in many forms: it may come and go or it could be constant.
Injuries Associated with Chronic Pain
There are certain types of injuries commonly associated with chronic pain. One of the most common is back injury, specifically herniated discs.
A back injury can cause the pain to feel as though it is shooting to other parts of the body as well, such as the:
- neck; and
Whiplash is another fairly common injury that drivers may sustain in a traffic accident. This oftentimes happens in a rear-end accident, the impact of which could snap the person’s head back and forth. Pain can affect the neck, head and shoulders. Although most people do recover from this type of injury, some suffer with recurrent pain.
Of course, other types of injuries could also be associated with continued and recurrent pain. Head injuries, for instance, could cause headaches. Joint pain may result from a number of injuries as well.
Consequences of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can impact a person not only physically but emotionally as well. Suffering on a constant (or sometimes daily) basis is psychologically taxing. It can become a vicious cycle where the pain causes emotional stress that in turn worsens the pain.
Some of the common types of psychological harm associated with ongoing pain conditions include:
- irritability; and
Adding to this, the pain can make getting a good night’s sleep difficult. A lack of sleep may exacerbate the emotional trauma. This can significantly affect interactions with others, the ability to work and to just enjoy life.
Treatment for Chronic Pain
Some sufferers may benefit from treatment. In addition to medication, it may necessitate various medical procedures like surgery and even alternative treatment methods like acupuncture or chiropractic care. Working with a doctor that specializes in pain management may be necessary. But it’s just as important that patients receive treatment for the emotional impact.
Some examples that mental health professionals may recommend include:
- behavior modification;
- biofeedback; and
Of course, all of this can turn into a huge financial burden. But if the pain is the result of an accident caused by another party, these expenses may be addressed in an injury claim. Talking with an attorney is important so that an injured victim can understand his/her rights and the legal options that may be available.
D.J. Banovitz can review ways in which accident victims can address compensation for damages stemming from not only acute injuries in an accident but those that have resulted in chronic pain as well.