Employees who have an accident at work may experience chronic, debilitating pain even after the injury has been treated. Unfortunately, the causes of chronic pain are still not fully understood. Although workers’ compensation is intended to cover all reasonable and necessary treatments, many employers and insurance companies will argue that treatment for chronic pain falls short of that standard and deny workers’ compensation claims for chronic pain treatments that may provide relief.
After a work-related injury, some people continue to experience chronic pain even after reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point at which no further treatment is expected to improve the patient’s condition.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH CHRONIC PAIN?
Chronic pain stops injured workers from performing work demands or even daily life tasks. When a person tries to protect themselves from movements that cause sharp pain, it can cause loss of mobility, limited range of motion, or reduced strength.
People suffering from chronic pain may turn to narcotics for relief. However, narcotic side effects can make it dangerous for the user to drive or operate machinery and prevent them from going to work or performing their professional duties.
Finally, chronic pain can cause a lot of emotional and mental distress. Chronic pain can affect your ability to concentrate. In addition, the reduced quality of life from chronic pain can lead to anxiety and depression, affecting the ability to perform work and daily activities.
WHY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS RELATED TO CHRONIC PAIN ARE SO COMPLEX?
Unfortunately, many employers and workers’ compensation companies refuse to pay claims for chronic pain treatment. Treating chronic pain can take years, in some cases cost injured workers their lives, and cost employers and their workers’ compensation insurance a lot of money.
Additionally, many doctors are skeptical of claims about chronic pain, especially those that cannot be attributed to the healing of an injury, infection, or other illness. Chronic pain that persists after reaching MMI can be dismissed as merely psychological. It can also be seen as an attempt to keep working.
Even if an employer or workers’ compensation insurance company is willing to provide chronic pain management after a workplace injury has healed, it is important to ensure that treatment is appropriately related to and necessary for a workplace injury. Chronic pain treatment is more likely to be approved for workers’ compensation if :
- Providers have a clear plan for chronic pain relief.
- A long-term treatment plan provides treatment as needed, rather than on a set schedule, without reassessing the need for treatment.
- Treatments are inexpensive or, if expensive, require only a few sessions.
- Treatment does not duplicate other efforts that may provide relief, such as physiotherapy.
Employers are often reluctant to provide treatment for chronic pain, so you should consult a workers’ compensation attorney who is knowledgeable about your legal rights.
To get a proper worker’s compensation claim and quality treatment for your injury visit Specialty Care Clinics. Healthcare professionals here are well-trained and experienced in treating work-related injuries, Call us immediately.