Study Shows Chronic Pain Follows Auto Accident Victims
A new study finds car crashes triggered chronic pain more than other types of traumatic events, such as injuries sustained at work, fractures, childbirth, hospitalization, or surgery.
The study, published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, and conducted by Gareth Jones, of the University of Aberdeen School of Medicine and Dentistry in Scotland, looked at 2,069 people over four years. The participants reported musculoskeletal pain and associated discomfort. 241 of those who participated in the study said they had new onset of chronic widespread pain over the 4 year period. Nearly one-third of those who had pain had also reported being involved in at least one traumatic event during the length of the study. Those events ranged from a traffic crash, workplace injury, surgery, and fracture, to hospitalization or childbirth
Higher Risk of Chronic Pain for Those Involved in Car Crashes
Study participants who had been in vehicular accidents were 84 percent more likely to develop new chronic widespread pain. Interestingly, the authors of the study found no chronic pain linked to childbirth, surgery, or hospitalization.
The study’s lead researcher, Gareth Jones, said in a news release, “We believe there are persons — defined by prior physical and psychological health — who in the event of a traumatic trigger are vulnerable to developing chronic widespread pain,” Jones explained. “Further research should focus on the unique aspects of an auto accident and the individual’s reaction to this particular trauma that causes the increased risk of chronic widespread pain onset,” HealthDay reports. (https://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/pain/articles/2011/03/21/chronic-pain-often-follows-car-crash-study)
Pain Level After Car Crash Could Depend on Genes
Two studies conducted by the University of North Carolina found that how much pain, and the severity of the pain experienced after a car crash could depend on your genes. These studies are important because often victims of car crashes are treated with suspicion by their doctors when they complain of pain where no injury has been found.
Senior study author Dr. Samuel McLean said, “The one thing we’re learning is that the physiological machinery that’s activated when one is exposed to a life-threatening situation, such as a car accident or a very stressful situation, can lead to persistent pain if things don’t go just right,” McLean said. “For car accidents, historically, the whole challenge has been . . . if something is wrong with [patients], we would be able to see it, find it on an X-ray or MRI scan, and that discussion continues. But we missed this important point — there’s a whole biology that can cause pain that has nothing to do with broken bone or torn muscle,” MedicineNet reports. (https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=164047)
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