Chronic Pain and Workers' Compensation

Pain that lasts for more than six months is medically considered to be chronic pain. While some of the tens of millions of Americans who suffer from mild chronic pain can live with it, many others are disabled by persistent, excruciating pain. Chronic pain that results from job duties and prevents the affected worker from performing that job may entitle him or her to workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina.

Chronic pain can come from many sources, but among the most common are pain from an injury, joint pain and backaches. Treatment for chronic pain can be complex, involving psychological therapy as well as physical therapy and medication.

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It’s easy for others to deny that someone is a chronic pain sufferer, since pain cannot be seen or quantified by anyone other than the victim who feels it. This can lead to challenges when chronic pain sufferers seek workers’ compensation benefits.

The workers’ compensation attorneys at Joye Law Firm don’t want that to happen to you. We can stand up for your rights if you qualify for workers’ comp because of chronic pain that is a result of a workplace injury or illness.

Call Joye Law Firm or use this online contact form to schedule a free discussion of your workers’ comp claim for chronic pain.

What is Chronic Pain?

A person experiences chronic pain when the nervous system continually sends pain signals to the brain over a period of months or even years. Chronic pain can result from a single traumatic injury, injury from repetitive trauma or cumulative stress, or because of certain diseases, such as arthritis or cancer. Some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.

Chronic pain is often described as neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), or psychogenic pain (pain absent disease or injury or any visible sign of physical harm). Sometimes the condition is called “chronic pain syndrome.”

Chronic pain can also cause secondary problems brought on by the stress of living with constant pain. This can include loss of sleep, irritability, anxiety and depression. Some speak of the vicious cycle of chronic pain, in which negative feelings brought on by secondary problems actually increase the sensation of pain. It’s easy to see how chronic pain syndrome can become disabling.

Many types of job duties can cause the type of traumatic injury or stress injury that can lead to pain that does not go away. A few examples include:

  • Heavy labor requiring repeated lifting, such as warehouse work or construction work, can cause chronic lower back pain.
  • Repetitive jobs, such as clerical and assembly line work, which require repeated motions that can cause cumulative stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or joint pain.

Common workplace accidents, such as falling, being struck by a falling object, being burned in a fire and motor vehicle accidents, can cause injuries that result in chronic pain.

Chronic pain may be treated with medications, acupuncture, local electrical stimulation or brain stimulation, as well as surgery. Some victims benefit from psychotherapy, relaxation and medication therapies, biofeedback and behavior modification.

Workers’ Compensation Claims for Chronic Pain Syndrome

Chronic pain is a recognized medical condition. It is not acceptable to dismiss a complaint of lasting pain as phony or to tell a victim that it is “all in your head.”

If you suffer from chronic pain that was caused by your employment in South Carolina, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. This includes payment for all necessary medical treatment.

South Carolina workers’ compensation law requires benefit applicants to have a qualified physician state in writing that there is a direct link between their job duties and their injuries, including chronic pain syndrome. But the law also allows the applicant’s employer to choose the physician who examines the injured worker.

If your employer’s physician has denied the existence of your chronic pain, you have the right to see a physician of your own choosing and to have this physician’s diagnosis considered as part of your claim.

A workers’ compensation lawyer from Joye law Firm can help you get the medical documentation you need to obtain the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.

There are also other legal hurdles to filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits we can help with, including strict time deadlines. We can help you make sure your injury is properly reported and that all necessary paperwork is completed and filed on time.

Do You Have Chronic Pain? Talk to Our Workers’ Comp Lawyers

If you suffer from chronic pain because of conditions on the job or a workplace injury, you may have a valid workers’ compensation claim.

Let us help you. Joye Law Firm has been fighting for injured workers in South Carolina since 1968. Call Joye Law Firm now or fill out this online contact form for a free evaluation and consultation about your case.

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