Chronic pain is an invisible disability that continues to inflict victims of workplace injury long after the event. Not only does it cause physical suffering but it can lead to emotional conditions such as depression and frustration. Studies have shown that how a worker deals with pain following an accident will determine how well they will deal with chronic pain if it manifests and how soon they will be ready to return to work.
According to the American Chronic Pain Association, chronic non-malignant pain (CNMP) is the most common cause of disability in workers under the age of 45 and disables 90 million Americans. The US economy loses $100 billion per year due to chronic pain.
Some common workplace injuries such as falling, slipping without falling, exertion, and repetitive stress injuries can be the cause of chronic pain. Unlike acute pain, (the pain you feel during the course or immediately after the initial injury) chronic pain exists in bodies that appear to have healed. In other words, chronic pain causes physical, emotional, and psychological pain but does not pose a threat to cause further injury or disability.