A work injury could leave you with chronic pain, despite receiving treatment for the injury.
The causes of chronic pain are not always understood, often leading to claim denials under workers’ compensation for treatments to address chronic pain and provide relief.
Finding out if you suffer from chronic pain
In spite of receiving treatment for a work-related injury, your healing may reach maximum medical improvement. This is the medical threshold where no additional treatment can improve your condition. Chronic pain often lasts well past this point, potentially attributed to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. This pain can arrive at the onset of symptoms from the injury, last for months and not respond to various types of palliative care or treatment.
This syndrome has different categories. With Reflect Sympathetic Dystrophy, injuries or damage to soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, tendons and skin cause long-term pain. The injuries leading to this syndrome include strains, burns or muscle tears. Causalgia occurs with injuries to major nerves but may not cause pain until months later.
Fibromyalgia is another form of chronic pain. This often involves intense pain or hypersensitivity from muscle spasms, minor touching or extremity weakness.
Treating chronic pain
If you suffer from chronic pain, you may find it difficult to perform your normal work duties or participate in routine activities. Although medication can help address the pain, it cannot fix the underlying problem. You may need occupational or physical therapy, epidural injections, a nerve block or other interventions to find relief.
Workers’ compensation is an employee benefit that addresses the cost of medical care for a work-related injury. Chronic pain is often eligible for coverage under this benefit.