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Chronic Pain

Have you ever heard of an individual who suffered an injury or illness resulting in an amputated limb, be it an arm or a leg, but was still able to feel pain in that area? Have you ever witnessed an individual discuss pain that existed without a known cause? Chances are you've seen some mention of it on TV, or read a report in a newspaper at sometime. Perhaps you even know the feeling yourself. There's a big issue that's affecting millions of people...and that issue is chronic pain.

Those who don't suffer from chronic pain may not understand, and may not believe in those who report complaints. Unfortunately, up until recently, chronic pain was a syndrome that consisted mainly of subjective complaints-meaning, the complaints of pain could not be proven by an objective test, such as an obvious broken bone seen on an x-ray, or degenerative disc disease indicated by an MRI. Did that make it any less real? Certainly not to those who suffered.

Times, however, are changing, and views towards chronic pain are beginning to take on a different light. Doctors have started acknowledging the existence of the often disabling pain as they look for new ways to treat it. They are beginning to acknowledge and accept that pain might not always be traceable to a broken bone that is easily proven with x-rays. In fact, brain-imaging studies have suggested that the brain of an individual who suffers from chronic pain not only looks different, but also responds differently, than a normal brain. Such a suggestion indicates that there is, indeed, a process occurring in the body of an individual suffering from chronic pain as opposed to one who is not.

Perhaps the most important element here is that the new research regarding chronic pain has added a great deal of credibility to what was previously considered to be subjective complaints. With regards to receiving Social Security Disability and Supplement Security Income benefits, it's no secret that individuals with an objective disorder, for example-clinical blindness in both eyes, have a much easier time proving their disability than those with chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia. The inability to identify the source of an individual's complaints of pain has proven to be a major road block for the disability process; without a cause for the pain, individuals had a hard time proving it existed. It appears as if the road block may be beginning to break down.

Studies continue to be done, as doctors and researchers maintain their desire to locate a suitable treatment...and even a cure. We have clients that suffer from different forms of chronic pain. We believe in the severity and the realness of the syndrome, and will continue to follow the research as it unfolds.

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