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Chronic Pain — Part I

Most of my professional work has been with the disabled at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC).

My recent feasibility evaluation of an injured worker – which was based on a review of 14 reports and a personal interview – provided insight into the problem of chronic pain. My client has three crushing injuries that resulted in a long period of treatment with no chance of returning to employment. He has not worked in seven years and has been deemed unemployable and not feasible for vocational services.

The medical community has provided multiple surgeries and many additional services to aid him in returning to work. Nothing has worked, so service has been discontinued and financial support terminated because his chronic pain has not been reduced. He continues to have medical, psychological and functional issues that are barriers to any employment.

According to the disability bureaucracy, “chronic pain” is not an allowed condition. This, despite the fact that his pain has resulted from several injuries and that the attempted treatments have not alleviated the pain, but rather contributed to the advanced and ongoing chronic pain. As of right now, the client is permanently disabled.

Part II of this blog will provide some additional background on chronic pain and various attempts to address the condition.


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