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Would a national pain strategy improve life for chronic pain patients?


Chronic pain is among the most complex and misunderstood disabilities in our society today. Because its effects are often outwardly invisible, those suffering from chronic pain have difficulty accessing the treatment or, when the condition is caused by an accident, the compensation they need. Many personal injury lawyers consider cases involving chronic pain among the most challenging they will take on.

Millions of Canadians suffer from chronic pain, and most are treated with a cocktail of medications which often includes dangerous opioid painkillers. Alternative forms of treatment, such physiotherapy, psychiatry and support groups, and medical marijuana, are available, but most are expensive and difficult for chronic pain patients to access.

As the opioid crisis in North America has worsened, patient advocacy groups like PainBC and the Canadian Pain Society have pushed for a national pain strategy to boost awareness of chronic pain, provide education for health professionals, and fund research. Personal injury lawyers believe that a greater public understanding of chronic pain could facilitate access to compensation and help patients get the treatment they need.

“We’re now at what one might call a tipping point, where the ducks are aligning,” Dr. Fiona Campbell, president-elect of the Canadian Pain Society, told the Toronto Star in March. “There’s more of an appetite and awareness about pain, which has probably arisen related to the opioid crisis, which is not the same as saying all people with chronic pain are taking opioids or affected by the opioid crisis. It just means it’s become more sentient in the public mind.”

The impacts of a serious brain or spinal injury on a person’s life are evident, and the people who suffer these injuries deserve sufficient compensation to fund their recovery. Individuals suffering from chronic pain also deserve access to treatment, but because their injuries are invisible they often face significant barriers to compensation. A better understanding of what chronic pain is and how it affects the lives of those who suffer from it could significantly improve this situation.

If you or a member of your family have been injured in an accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP today to learn how our talented and experienced team can help. Whether you have suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury or are suffering under the burden of chronic pain, our team can assess the validity of your personal injury claim and advise you of your next steps. Start your road to recovery today by calling Will Davidson LLP.


Image credit: Esther Max/Flickr


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