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Chronic pain after a crash: Your options as a survivor

After a crash, one thing that some people have to deal with is lasting, chronic pain. Chronic pain is pain that lasts for weeks, months or years with little respite. Originally, the pain may have been caused by a crash or accident, injury or infection, but now, it seems like it will never end.

The reality of some types of chronic pain is that it may not be curable. As a result, people who suffer from it need to be fairly compensated for their injuries. They may no longer work or have the same quality of life because of pain, and that is something that someone must be held accountable for.

How do people live with chronic pain?

Coping with chronic pain is a psychological challenge. Some days, chronic pain could cause depression or anxiety, making it hard for a person to get out of bed or to participate in normal activities.

There are ways to handle chronic pain, though. For example, managing your overall stress levels helps. By reducing stress, pain also reduces. When the body is more stressed, it is more likely to result in additional or more persistent pain. Eating well, doing some kind of physical activity and sleeping enough can go a long way in helping patients manage the stress of chronic pain.

Another thing patients with chronic pain should do is think constructively. Falling into negative thoughts and feelings may be normal, but it isn't helpful. Instead of doing that, patients should focus on what is good about their lives or on how their abilities have improved with their recovery. Even though pain is a persistent part of their lives, patients still have the option to focus on the positive.

When this isn't enough, there are medical options. Some patients benefit from the use of medications like muscle relaxants or pain medications. Others do well with psychological therapy, which helps them air their frustrations and concerns in a safe, supportive environment.

After a crash results in chronic pain, patients have to adjust. That adjustment affects them and all other aspects of their lives, so it can take time to mentally overcome the new challenges. With support and the financial settlement needed to get medical help and other types of support, it's easier for patients to overcome the challenges they now face on a daily basis. The right support does make a difference for people with chronic pain.

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