David McKinney | Partner

A guide to chronic pain

As specialist personal injury lawyers, we frequently represent clients who have been diagnosed with chronic pain post-trauma, as a result of an accident that wasn’t their fault.

Receiving a diagnosis of chronic pain can be confusing and upsetting. It is often misunderstood and can leave you feeling that your pain is not being taken seriously.

At Jackson Boyd we understand what you are going through and we are here to help.

What is chronic pain?

Post-traumatic chronic pain occurs due to the way the nerves supplying the affected area are working. When an injury occurs, nerves in the injured area signal a pain message to the brain. This is an entirely normal response.

In chronic pain, the nerves supplying the once-injured area do not return to normal after an injury. Despite full healing of the tissue, the nerves remain in the hypersensitive and over-reactive state that they transformed into at the time of the injury. This means they continue to send an excess of messages to the brain, despite them then being incorrect and unnecessary. On receiving these messages, the brain continues to create pain.

The impact of chronic pain

The pain felt by chronic pain sufferers, whilst produced differently, is still very real. It can manifest in many different ways such as a dull ache, shooting or burning sensations, or feelings of tightness or pressure. It can also vary in intensity and frequency.

Chronic pain can affect many different areas of a person’s life from physical function, to mental health and social relationships. Cognitive abilities such as concentration, memory and decision making can also be impaired. This can impact on a person’s ability to work or study and can affect career prospects and future earnings.

Chronic pain can be affected by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety and depression. These same psychological factors can be influenced by chronic pain, which can often lead to a cycle that can be difficult to break.

People who suffer chronic pain can often experience social isolation due to their inability to participate in social activities, which can exacerbate feelings of depression and low self-esteem.

Chronic pain can also interfere with sleep leading to insomnia or other sleep disorders, which can further exacerbate pain and other symptoms as the cycle continues.

Managing chronic pain

There are various treatment options available for chronic pain sufferers. These can include medication, physiotherapy and psychological therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and other talking therapies.

As there are so many factors that can affect chronic pain, treatment requirements are different for everyone. It can take time to develop a treatment plan that suits each sufferer’s needs.

Treatment for chronic pain is generally geared towards managing symptoms rather than curing them, to help the sufferer cope with their pain through a combination of medication and other therapies.

How can we help?

At Jackson Boyd we understand the complexities of chronic pain and we aim to help our clients by aiding diagnoses, expediting treatment and providing support and advice where needed. No two situations are the same.

If you have been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, our expert personal injury lawyers are here to help. Please contact us if you wish to discuss your claim and the ways in which we can assist you.

David McKinney

David McKinney

Personal Injury Team

"It is a privilege to act for our clients at a difficult time in their lives. I always aim to provide them with clear, practical advice in an approachable way.”

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