Car accidents are a leading cause of chronic pain. Motor vehicle crashes cause 35% of chronic back pain and spine injuries, and 26% of people that are injured in a car accident later suffer chronic pain. From our experience handling auto accidents throughout Missouri and Kansas, we know how difficult it is to treat chronic pain conditions and to get fair compensation from the insurance company for your injuries.
If you have been injured in an accident in Missouri or Kansas, and you are struggling with chronic pain or getting the insurance company to treat you fairly, call our personal injury attorney in Kansas City, Missouri at 816-203-0143. We offer free case reviews and resources that can help, regardless of whether you hire our firm.
What is Considered Chronic Pain?
Medical professionals define any pain that lasts up to six months as “chronic.” Approximately 50 million Americans endure chronic pain. It is estimated that about 20 million of these individuals suffer on a daily basis. Chronic pain is often endured in conjunction with other problems. These may include one’s withdrawal from their routines, a weakened immune system, an increase in medication, or change in general sleep quality.
Chronic pain often results from an injury to your nervous, muscular, or skeletal systems. Examples of chronic pain include:
- Headaches: Head pain or headaches are defined as chronic when they occur at least 15 days out of a month, for a minimum duration of three back-to-back months.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is one of the most common types of chronic pain in a car accident, estimated at more than one million injuries each year. Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward or backward. Discs in the spine’s vertebrae can be impacted and become inflamed. Rear-end collisions often result in whiplash for the occupants of the vehicle.
- Neuropathy: Neuropathy is the result of general nerve damage. This impacts 1 in every 10 Americans. It may be caused by impact from a car accident, compression of the nerves by the adjacent bones, or deterioration of the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath coats nerves to protect them, and can be negatively affected by certain medications.
- Sciatica: This is another chronic condition pertaining to the nervous system. Sedentary work, without the occasional break or stretch, can compress the sciatic nerve. This can cause shooting pain in the legs or buttocks.
- Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS): This condition affects approximately 25% of people with chronic pain. It occurs when additional symptoms to the base pain are present, such as chronic anxiety or chronic depression. Furthermore, the body’s natural response to such injuries is to tense in self-defense. This can inadvertently create chronic fatigue.
Treating Chronic Pain After an Accident in Missouri & Kansas
- Physical Therapy: Stretching techniques and personalized exercises can make a difference handling the likes of chronic pain. It is also important for educating patients on how to address their chronic pain through home exercises and strength training.
- Chiropractic Manipulation: Using gentle pressure, a chiropractor can adjust and correct alignment in the musculoskeletal system to reduce pain and improve range of motion. Chiropractors are often used to relieve neck, back, and chest pain.
- Acupuncture: A series of thin needles are inserted into the body at specific points. Studies have shown that acupuncture can relive chronic body pains and persistent headaches, and the treatment effects can last for several weeks.
- Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Counseling: Having to adjust one’s routines and lifestyle due to chronic pain can be traumatic on the mind. It is just as important to focus on the psychological well-being of someone enduring chronic pain. Chronic pain can also increase anxiety or depression, both of which can lower a person’s pain tolerance. Therapeutic techniques such as visualization, biofeedback, and stress-reduction therapy can help a patient cope with stress reactions, while guided meditation or massage can help reduce the physical effects of chronic pain on the body.
- Primary Care: If you aren’t sure where to start, talk to a primary care provider who is proactive, wants to help you improve your health and well-being, and that communicates promptly with the rest of your support network. You need people in your life who are motivated towards seeing your condition improve.
Other Lifestyle Changes That May Help with Chronic Pain
- Eat Healthy: A healthy diet is key to general well-being. A proper body weight ensures unnecessary strain is not placed on the body’s joints. Eat low-sodium and low-fat foods, as well as fruits and vegetables. Sufficient hydration and adequate amounts of sleep each night make the difference.
- Stop Smoking: Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is caused by smoking. Blood vessels become restricted, leading to poor and even painful blood circulation. Tissue death is also a possibility.
- Exercise: Low-impact exercise helps release endorphins; examples might be yoga, swimming, or bicycling. These endorphins block pain receptors, and can alleviate one’s mood if enough are released.
- Reduce Stress: Stress and anxiety intensify the body’s perception of pain. Taking the focus off of one’s pain is the first step towards relaxing.
Remember Alternative Treatments Are Also Medical Care in Missouri and Kansas
Each person responds to chronic pain treatment differently. One method may not be as effective for one individual as it could be for the next. Regardless, dwelling on one’s own pain can prolong and even worsen the effects. It makes a noticeable difference to choose to live healthier and find solutions to handle the effects of chronic pain one is enduring. That doesn’t mean the pain is cured, but rather that life is once again fulfilling despite it.
What Compensation May I Recover for Chronic Pain in Missouri and Kansas?
Chronic pain is one of the most frustrating and debilitating medical conditions a person can suffer. When you hurt, you want to do something, anything, to make you feel better – and you don’t want to hear why your treatment isn’t covered. If you’re suffering from long-term effects of a car accident, you may be searching for any alternative treatment methods that can alleviate your pain. You might also be paying for these visits out of pocket, since insurers may refuse to cover supplemental treatments.
If you were injured due to another’s negligence or misconduct, Missouri and Kansas laws allow you to seek compensation from the at-fault party. Below are some of the types of damages you may be entitled to recover:
- Medical expenses, including future medical treatment for permanent injuries.
- Disabilities, permanent impairment, and disfigurement.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish and emotional distress.
- Loss of enjoyment of life and a decrease in quality of life.
- Loss of income and benefits, including decreases in future earning potential.
- Other out-of-pocket expenses and financial loss.
Our personal injury law firm in Kansas City handles personal injury claims throughout Missouri and Kansas. If you believe you have the right to recover compensation due to another party’s negligence, please call our personal injury attorney at 816-203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation. We are ready to assist you.