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Legal Recourse For Persistent Pain

defective-productMedical malpractice and the issuance of defective medical products continues to rise across the country. Statistics collated by Hofstra University found that there were over 14,000 medical malpractice payments per year in the US for the years covering 2006-2016. While innovative new ways to treat medical conditions develop, old problems remain and new ones develop as the FDA approve new treatments.

Persistent pain is underrepresented in political and media discourse and is one of the causes of the opioid epidemic. Accidents can cause chronic pain, but the day-to-day person doesn’t expect to leave hospital with an added condition to what they were seeking treatment for. The law gives an avenue of redress from which onwards treatment can be sought. It’s important to seek professional medical advice to understand the underlying causes and explore appropriate treatment options. Here are some general suggestions, but remember to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice:

  1. Medical Evaluation: Consult with a healthcare provider to thoroughly assess your condition. They may recommend imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRIs, to better understand the extent of any physical damage.
  2. Pain Management: Work with your healthcare team to develop a comprehensive pain management plan. This may include medications, physical therapy, and other interventions to alleviate pain.
  3. Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can design a tailored exercise program to improve mobility, strengthen muscles, and reduce pain. They can also teach you techniques for managing and coping with chronic pain.
  4. Psychological Support: Chronic pain often has psychological components. Consider seeking support from a mental health professional to address any emotional challenges associated with your pain.
  5. Medication: Depending on the nature of your pain, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications such as analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, or muscle relaxants. It’s crucial to take medications as directed and communicate any side effects to your healthcare team.
  6. Lifestyle Modifications: Adjust your daily activities and habits to accommodate your pain. This may include changes in ergonomics, posture, and work environment.
  7. Alternative Therapies: Some people find relief through alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, or massage. Discuss these options with your healthcare provider to ensure they align with your overall treatment plan.
  8. Support Groups: Joining a support group for individuals experiencing chronic pain can provide emotional support, shared experiences, and coping strategies.

Remember that managing chronic pain often involves a multidisciplinary approach. Your healthcare team will work with you to create a customized plan that addresses your specific needs and helps improve your overall well-being.

How the law protects you, and making use of it

Defective medical products fall under the product liability umbrella in the USA. The FDA monitor defective products via a mandatory scheme, collating what they state to be thousands of product liability reports yearly. Reuters have suggested that this rate will increase with the implementation of the FDAs new 501(k) fast track scheme, through which 3,000 devices have progressed, but the impact of this remains to be seen. There is a framework in place, and where insurance does not cover, cases can be brought where malpractice has clearly occurred. The results can range from a cash payout to contributions towards the care associated with your condition, such as pain management and neuropathy treatment.

Obtaining the right treatment

Medical professionals will frequently prescribe painkillers as a first port of call for persistent pain. Painkillers are an excellent tool but shouldn’t be relied on, and it is important to remember that opioids are not necessarily better. A report by NPR outlines how other drugs can perform an equal role.

Instead, look towards psychological treatments. A report by US News health section outlined how cognitive behavioral therapy, neurostimulation devices and even topical treatments can be effective of persistent pain management. In the long term they have been found to be more effective than opioids and without negative side effects – as opioids wear on, their effectiveness dampens while leaving you with physical dependence.

Maintaining costs over years

Like all treatments, opioid alternatives cost money. A private CBT session, for example, will cost upwards of $50. However, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll require CBT for a long period. Many people will find recovery improves between 5 and 20 sessions, as CBT imparts a way of thinking and coping methods as opposed to providing momentary respite as many painkillers too.

Other psychological therapies are also found to be effective. These include psychotherapy, acupuncture and therapeutic message (particularly for neurological damage) and specialized diets. Finding the right combination may take time but will be better in the longer-term than reliance on painkillers of any type. Persistent pain caused by medical device defects can be frustrating and demoralizing. Relying on painkillers can cause problems in the long run and so complementary therapies may be best suited. Ensuring you exercise your legal rights and looking into ways to preserve your health into your later years is key.