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Does chronic pain damage the brain?

Chronic pain is a risk to your brain, according to studies. When you have pain that never goes away, it's not uncommon to feel depressed, anxious or angry. You may not want to make decisions about the future for fear of how you'll feel when the day comes.

For patients living with chronic pain, the daily struggle can leave them mentally weakened and dissatisfied with their quality of life. These individuals don't just struggle with pain. They could have trouble sleeping, be depressed or have trouble concentrating. They may be so exhausted that they don't want to get out of bed. They could be anxious if they have to leave their homes.

In a healthy brain, the different regions of the brain work together in harmony. That's disrupted when constant pain is a factor. When there is chronic pain, the front region of the cortex stays activated. That area of the brain, which is associated with emotion, never stops. That means that all affected areas aren't deactivated when they should be.

Constant pain can cause permanent damage to the brain and how it functions. That is why those who struggle with pain need to get relief. With some time spent recovering without pain, individuals can see a marked improvement in their emotional well-being and overall health. That improvement happens because they can be more active and sleep better.

If you live with chronic pain, you know the damage it does. If it's a result of a motor vehicle collision or other situation, you may be eligible for compensation. The person who is responsible for your pain should cover your medical expenses. That allows you to get all the treatment that is necessary.

Source: Science Daily, "Chronic Pain Harms The Brain," accessed Sep. 26, 2017

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