Suffering Nerve Pain After a Spinal Cord Injury?
We often forget how many of our day-to-day activities rely on having a healthy spine until said spine is badly damaged. Even from minor trauma, a spinal cord injury can make it difficult to sleep comfortably, play with your kids, or perform well at your job without some level of pain. With more serious injuries, that pain can be far more debilitating and last for years, if not your entire life.
What Is Neuropathic Pain?
Our sense of pain is based in our nerve cells, which run all throughout our body and communicate with our brains through our spinal cords. When the nerves in the spinal cord are damaged, not only can it lead to paralysis — the inability to move or feel certain parts of your body — but also intense pain.
Referred to as neuropathic pain, this pain occurs because your nerves are unable to properly communicate with the brain. They may be trying to send standard signals about certain textures or temperature changes, but the brain registers these signals as pain.
Neuropathic pain is one of the worst side effects of a spinal cord injury. Victims can experience this pain with little to no warning, and there appears to be no reason for the pain. Victims have described it as a sudden, strong burning sensation or an electric shock that can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Even in cases of paralysis, victims can still experience neuropathic pain in the paralyzed part of the body, as well as areas they have full control over.
This type of pain is typically associated with specific types of spinal cord injuries. SCIs are categorized as complete and incomplete. With complete injuries, the victim suffers a total loss of control below that part of the spine, although they still may experience neuropathic pain. Incomplete injuries, on the other hand, allow victims to have some control over their body, sometimes only suffering partial paralysis. But incomplete spinal cord injuries are also more likely to lead to neuropathic pain, as the nerves are still able to moderately communicate with the brain.
Can Neuropathic Pain Be Treated?
Sadly, there is no universally accepted cure for neuropathic pain because the pain is specific to each patient. Some will experience different levels of intensity to the pain and in different parts of the body. Doctors can prescribe strong medications to help deal with the pain, but these will not treat the underlying issue. In some cases, doctors can place medical devices near the spine that will inject medication into the nerve to help deal with the pain, but this can be expensive and is not the best method for everyone. Many are forced to live with the pain for the rest of their lives, often finding their own ways to cope with the trauma.
Some victims have found solutions through psychiatric treatments. By working with therapists, they have learned how to better manage the pain and increase their tolerance of it, often through mental exercises. Neuropathic pain can also lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression, which a therapist can help a victim work through.
The costs of a spinal cord injury can be astronomical. Beyond neuropathic pain, victims must deal with emergency room treatments, surgeries, extensive tests, meetings with specialists, medication, and assisted living equipment. If your injuries were the result of a reckless driver or a negligent property owner, you may be able to include all of these costs in a personal injury claim. In addition, you may also be able to include the physical and emotional costs of neuropathic pain.
Many accident victims are wary of including symptoms like neuropathic pain in a personal injury claim because they believe that it will be dismissed as frivolous. However, the state of California allows accident victims to pursue “pain and suffering damages” in a personal injury claim, which neuropathic pain clearly falls under. With the right attorney, you may be able to receive financial compensation for nerve pain, as well as any related treatments, whether surgery, medication, or therapy.
Speak to an Attorney Today
After suffering a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s careless actions, you deserve full and proper compensation for your trauma. But insurance companies will fight you at every step to avoid paying out a policy’s limit. That is why you need a dedicated and skilled Orange County personal injury lawyer at your side. At Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, our legal team can use our more than 40 years of experience to advocate on your behalf in an accident claim. We have won hundreds of millions of dollars in jury verdicts and insurance settlements for our clients and can provide the same thorough legal guidance in your case. If you suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, reach out to us at (949) 752-7474 to ensure you get the most out of a claim. We offer every potential client a free consultation, so there is no cost to calling us.
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