Chronic Pain After a Traumatic Brain Injury

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May 09, 2019
Edward Smith

Chronic Pain After a Traumatic Brain Injury

Many people could suffer from chronic pain after a traumatic brain injury incident. Despite the research that has been done in the medical field, TBIs continue to impact countless families every year. Unfortunately, many of the issues that people suffer with after a head or brain injury could be permanent. Some of the initial treatment options for TBIs include:

  • Oral medication to relieve swelling of the brain.
  • Medicines to keep blood pressure within a safe range.
  • Emergency surgery to stop bleeding in the brain or to prevent brain herniation.

After this first treatment, those who have suffered a TBI will reach a new baseline level of functioning. This is where the complications of traumatic brain injuries could start to become apparent. One of the most severe complications is the development of chronic pain.

How Does Chronic Pain Develop?

The brain is made up of billions of neurons that function as a network. In this network, all of the body’s information is processed, and decisions are made. These neurons receive signals from the rest of the body regarding temperature, pressure, and pain. In a traumatic brain injury, individuals might suffer a blow to the head that damages these neurons. Some of the possible injuries that someone could sustain include:

  • The development of bleeding in the brain such as an epidural or a subdural hematoma.
  • A cerebral contusion which is bruising of the brain tissue.
  • Swelling of the brain that could damage the neurons.
  • A penetrating injury of the brain could damage the neurons directly.

If the neurons that receive pain signals are damaged, they might not appropriately process signals. As a result, messages from the rest of the body could become scrambled and misinterpreted. Normal signals from the rest of the body could be interpreted by the brain as pain.

What are the Treatment Options for Chronic Pain After a TBI?

There is a multitude of treatment options for individuals who are feeling chronic pain after a traumatic brain injury. Some of the options include:

Anti-Inflammatory Medications: These include Tylenol and Motrin. These medications have relatively few side effects, so they are frequently tried first.

Narcotic Medications: These include Vicodin, Valium, and Percocet. These medications can have a variety of side effects and individuals can overdose on them relatively quickly. Therefore, these are used sparingly.

Nerve Injections: In this procedure, a dose of pain medication is injected directly into the nerve to try and dull the pain. For this procedure to be an option, the nerve causing the pain has to be identified.

For those who are still suffering from severe pain even after these treatment choices have been attempted, surgery might also be an option. Unfortunately, despite these treatments, some people might still suffer from severe pain.

Helping a Loved One with Chronic Pain

Those who are suffering from chronic pain need the support of their family members and friends. Some of the tips that loved ones should keep in mind include:

  • Encourage loved ones to remain as active as possible.
  • Encouraging massage and yoga can help individuals retain strength and flexibility.
  • Remember that chronic pain could cause loved ones to have emotional outbursts.
  • They might become irritable and have a short temper.
  • Those who suffer from chronic pain are prone to developing mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Chronic pain could also prevent an individual from returning to work or school.

Watch YouTube Video: Tools to Manage Chronic Pain. Many people suffer from some form of chronic pain. In the video below, patients are getting the tools they need to help control their pain through a unique program at Mayo Clinic.

Contacting a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

Following a severe accident involving a traumatic brain injury, families could have several questions. It is essential for families to ask for help. After seeking appropriate medical care, families should take a few minutes to speak with a traumatic brain injury attorney in San Francisco. Some of the ways that a trained injury attorney could help include:

  • Assisting loved ones in seeking damages that are related to brain injury, its complications, and chronic pain.
  • Guiding families in making difficult decisions during an emotional time.
  • Reviewing the details of the accident to make sure that all of the different circumstances have been considered in an appropriate manner.
  • Transitioning a case to the courtroom when required.

Reach out to a traumatic brain injury attorney in San Francisco today. Your family could be entitled to a financial reward.

San Francisco Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys

I’m Ed Smith, a San Francisco traumatic brain injury attorney. It is not unusual for individuals to suffer from chronic pain following a traumatic brain injury. If one of your family members has suffered a head or brain injury in a traumatic accident and subsequently developed chronic pain, please call me today at (415) 805-7284 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
I’m a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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