Some workers may be at risk of developing chronic pain as a result of a work injury or job tasks. Chronic pain is persistent and excruciating and can be debilitating for affected individuals. If a worker develops chronic pain after a work injury, they may be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
Understanding Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for 3 to 6 months or more. It’s usually persistent and continues long after its cause is gone. Chronic pain can be caused by a single traumatic injury, injury from cumulative stress, or a disease. In the workplace, many types of job duties can cause the type of traumatic or stress injury that can lead to chronic pain. For instance, jobs that require repetitive motions such as assembly line and clerical work can cause cumulative injuries like joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Slip and fall accidents and heavy labor requiring repeated lifting can cause chronic back pain.
When a person endures pain day after day, it can interfere with their quality of life, daily life activities, and ability to work. Symptoms of chronic pain resulting from a work injury include throbbing pain, burning pain, stiffness, skin discoloration, swelling, soreness, stinging, and sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures. The stress brought on by the stress of living with excruciating pain can also cause secondary problems, including anxiety, depression, irritability, and loss of sleep. These problems may increase the sensation of pain.
Treatment for chronic pain may include medications, brain stimulation or local electrical stimulation, physical therapy, acupuncture, or surgery. Some individuals may benefit from psychotherapy, behavior modification, biofeedback, relaxation therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Workers’ Compensation Claims for Chronic Pain
Since chronic pain is a common medical condition, it’s not acceptable to rule out a complaint as phony. A worker suffering from chronic pain may qualify for worker’s compensation benefits if they can show that the condition was directly caused by a work-related injury. The benefits can cover payments for all necessary medical treatment.
Nevada’s worker’s compensation law requires benefit applicants to provide relevant medical documentation from the treating doctor. The doctor should state that there’s a direct link between the injuries and their job duties. Also, an injured worker may need a worker’s compensation attorney if the employer or insurer is arguing that the chronic pain is unrelated to the job duties or accident.