Serious Pain After a Work Injury
I hate that so many of the people that I speak to are in serious pain after a work injury. I realize that yes, injuries, even small ones can be painful, but I always wish for a magic wand to take it away and make it all better (if only this were possible!). However, in reality; effective medical care is really the key to addressing and treating your pain. Ideally, once your injury heals you will be pain-free, however for a serious injury that is not always the case. Here is what you need to know if you are in serious pain after a work injury.
What You Need to Know About Pain for Your Work Injury Claim
What is Pain
When Pain is Acute or Chronic
The 4 Main Types of Pain
Pain is a Symptom Under Virginia Workers Compensation, You Need a Diagnoses
Diagnoses Associated with Chronic Pain
When you are dealing with pain after an injury at work, you need to make sure you understand the different ways pain is described in the medical community; so that you can have a meaningful conversation with your treating doctor and effectively communicate to him or her what it is that you are experiencing.
Please note, this information is intended to assist you in communicating with your doctors and is NOT intended to be medical advice!
What is Pain?
The Johns Hopkins Blaustein Pain Treatment Center defines it as “an uncomfortable feeling that tells you something may be wrong. It can be steady, throbbing, stabbing, aching, pinching, or described in many other ways. Sometimes, it’s just a nuisance, like a mild headache.”
When Pain is Acute or Chronic?
“Pain is a sign that something has happened, that something is wrong. Acute pain happens quickly and goes away when there is no cause, but chronic pain lasts longer than six months and can continue when the injury or illness has been treated.” (Taken from The Cleveland Clinic).
The 4 Main Types of Pain (taken from The Virginia Spine Institute)
- Nociceptive Pain: Typically the result of tissue injury. Common types of nociceptive pain are arthritis pain, mechanical back pain or post-surgical pain.
- Inflammatory Pain: An abnormal inflammation caused by an inappropriate response by the body’s immune system. Conditions in this category include gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Neuropathic Pain: Pain caused by nerve irritation. This includes conditions such as neuropathy, radicular pain, and trigeminal neuralgia.
- Functional Pain: Pain without obvious origin, but can cause pain. Examples of such conditions are fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.
Pain is a Symptom Under Virginia Workers Compensation, You Need a Diagnosis
Virginia Workers’ Compensation does not pay benefits based on “pain” alone; the compensation system views pain as a symptom of the injury, however, when your pain is prolonged beyond when the initial injury has resolved but you are still restricted because of the ongoing pain, your doctor may need to run some additional tests to determine if a chronic pain diagnosis, like Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), would need to be added as part of your claim.
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.