According to the Institute for Chronic Pain, Chronic Pain Syndrome is the combination of chronic pain and the secondary complications that are making the original pain worse. Once pain becomes chronic, the mind and body begin to manifest changes which tend to imprint both pain sensations and what clinicians call “pain behaviour” on the Central Nervous System. Typical chronic pain characteristics are as follows:
- Severe pain, constant or waxing and waning;
- Requirement for long-term pain medication;
- Limitations in activity and mobility;
- Effects on social relationships;
- Effects on sexual drive, function, or both;
- Feelings of helplessness;
- Decrease job performance;
- Frustration with doctors;
- Altered sleep;
- Physical tension;
- Changes in appetite;
- Alterations in bowel habits;
- Focusing on blame on self, family and/or the system.
Certain chronic pain clinics use the newer physiological approach to classify chronic pain patients according to their underlying pain mechanism. This diagnosis system is referred to as the PMS classification and subdivides chronic pain into 6 groups:
- Nociceptive Mechanical (joints, ligaments, muscles);
- Nociceptive Inflammatory (pain because of inflammation like arthritis);
- Peripheral Neuropathic (nerve pain);
- Central Sensitization (amplification of al pains signals by the nerve system);
- Affective: which is used when psychological or psychiatric conditions are felt to play a major part in the patient’s chronic pain.
- Motor/Autonomic: which is a classification when a patient’s present symptoms compatible with an overreaction of the autonomic system and a change in the body’s perception of body image.
In conclusion, it is our opinion chronic pain syndrome is not captured by the minor injury cap legislation.