Chronic pain, the theme of this blog for the past week, is often a blanket diagnosis used to explain pain that persists consistently over a period longer than 3-6 months. However, chronic pain can result from many different disorders and injuries. Below please find the more common disorders associated with chronic pain, courtesy of About.com. Unfortunately, many of these problems come from common accidents, such as motor vehicle accidents or slip and falls.
Chronic pain can frequently come along with a back injury. The major back injuries that can lead to chronic pain are slipped/bulging discs, spinal stenosis, compression fractures, soft tissue damage, traumatic fractures (such as from accident or crash injuries), or diseases like lordosis and scoliosis. Additionally, headaches (such as migraines and cluster headaches) and joint pain (rheumatoid arthritis, repetitive strain injury, and osteoarthritis) are also major sources of chronic pain.
As mentioned in my blog post earlier this week, a subset of chronic pain is neuropathic pain. This type of pain involves problems with nerve endings, not musculoskeletal problems. Common sources of neuropathic chronic pain are sciatica, bulging/slipped discs (leading to nerve compression in the spinal cord and the immediate surrounding area), diabetic neuropathy, and carpal tunnel. Unfortunately, not a lot is known about neuropathic pain and effective treatments are still being researched and developed.
Chronic pain can take many forms, but the important thing to remember is that this pain should not be ignored or underestimated. If not properly treated by a trained physician, it most likely will remain the same or worsen over time.
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania. For more on his career and firm, please click here.