Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting more than 3 to 6 months, or beyond the point of tissue healing. There are at least two different types of chronic pain problems - chronic pain due to an identifiable pain generator (e.g. an injury), and chronic pain with no identifiable pain generator (e.g. the injury has healed) often termed “chronic benign pain”. Chronic pain and depression are two of the most common health problems that health professionals encounter. The type of depression with chronic pain is referred to as major depression or clinical depression.
Chronic Pain continues to be an ongoing challenge in Canada, affecting as many as 20% to 29% individuals nationwide. For those living with a Chronic Pain condition, it can provoke significant long-term debilitation and suffering. In particular, Chronic Pain can negatively affect many domains of a patient’s health including sleep, cardiovascular fitness, mood, sexual functionality and overall quality of life. Chronic Pain also poses enormous economic burden on individual and societal levels. For example, Canadians with Chronic Pain awaiting treatment reported an average median monthly cost of $1,462 (CDN) for care. In a 2016 publicized population-based study, they found that the incremental healthcare costs amounted to 50% higher in patients managing Chronic Pain than their healthy control counterparts. From a broader perspective, Canada spends approximately $6 billion annually on direct Chronic Pain expenditure, and $37 billion annually on indirect costs (i.e., loss of job productivity, loss of jobs, employee sick days etc.).
It has been established that Chronic Pain may develop as a result of a dysfunctional stress response. The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized Chronic Pain as a disability.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Chronic Pain as a result of an accident, please call us for a free consultation.