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Chronic pain is pain that a person experiences on a daily or weekly basis for at least a few months (and may continue for years) after a work injury or after surgery for the work injury. Chronic pain is a serious health condition that disrupts a person’s ability to work and makes it difficult for them to manage tasks at home. It can lead to financial strains and problems in a person’s relationships. In short, chronic pain adversely impacts a person’s quality of life. Unfortunately, it affects thousands of injured Illinois workers every year.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Regardless of how you were injured at work, you may be experiencing one or more of the following symptoms of chronic pain:
- Burning pain
- Throbbing pain
- Stinging feeling along the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- Sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures
- Skin discoloration
Chronic pain often leads to complications beyond physical symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fear, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping.
Treatment of Chronic Pain
Finding effective treatment for your chronic pain is critical, and so is balancing pain relief with your safety. However, there is not a “one size fits all” approach to treatment. The approach to helping someone with their chronic lower back pain may not offer any relief for another person’s osteoarthritis. Your diagnosis, body and genetics, and history all play a role. Finding the best pain therapies can be a long process. Sometimes the treatment will be medication. Other times devices like pain pumps can help solve the problem. And for others, it’s weight loss or continuous physical therapy. It could even mean modifications to your house to make getting around easier. Every case needs to be looked at on its own.
Workers’ Compensation and Chronic Pain
If you are experiencing chronic pain as a result of a workplace injury or illness, we recommend you do the following to receive benefits under the workers’ compensation system.
- See a doctor if you haven’t already. Be sure to explain exactly where and how you were injured at work.
- Notify your employer of the injury. You can email your supervisor or human resources, or both.
- Complete a workers’ compensation claim using the forms provided by your employer.
- Consider hiring an attorney to help you navigate this workers’ compensation process and be your advocate. It may be challenging to prove that chronic pain is indeed a result of a work injury or illness. Insurance companies may try to limit or deny you compensation. Having an experienced and reputable attorney in your corner almost always ensures a better result than going it alone.
Our goal as work injury lawyers is to help you get the best result possible. For most people that doesn’t just mean a large financial settlement, but making sure that you get the medical care you want and need to improve your health and give you back a quality of life. If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers for free and in confidence, we are happy to talk to you at any time and will do our best to help you.