Some children with cerebral palsy suffer from chronic pain, and it is likely to increase as they get older. According to the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, as many as 75 percent of adults with cerebral palsy report having chronic pain.
Some types of cerebral palsy are more likely to cause chronic pain than others. Types that include spasticity, the most common forms of the condition, often lead to pain related to contractures. Cerebral palsy types that feature dystonia may also lead to chronic pain.
Chronic Pain Can Cause a Significant Decrease in Quality of Life
Without a doubt, some children with cerebral palsy suffer from chronic pain and their condition raises the risk of experiencing that pain, compared to their peers who do not have a chronic medical concern. How many of them face chronic pain in childhood is not certain, but studies seem to indicate the numbers may be high.
In one 2014 study published in BMC Pediatrics, physical therapists who worked with children living with cerebral palsy reported 51 percent of their patients suffered frequent pain. This pain did not significantly affect their ability to control muscles or impair physical movement, but it did affect their psychological well-being and quality of life.
Pain in Those With Cerebral Palsy Is Often Poorly Managed
Not only is there strong evidence that “significant and persistent” pain is common in people living with cerebral palsy, but also that too little is being done to manage chronic pain in this population. If your child has cerebral palsy and complains of pain or seems to exhibit signs of pain, it is important to recognize that these children are at a high risk of having their pain undermanaged.
Many parents may need to act as an advocate for their child, fighting for the necessary pain management options and discovering non-medical options such as heating pads or stretching that work well for your child. Other parents raising children with cerebral palsy are often good resources.
Managing chronic pain is important because living with persistent pain can lead to a wide variety of negative outcomes, ranging from disinterest in hobbies and limiting social contact to psychological distress and lower quality of life.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to Learn More About Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits
All too often, cerebral palsy occurs because of a medical error, preventable birth injury, or medical negligence. If a doctor or other care professional caused or failed to prevent your child’s cerebral palsy, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim against them. The best option for learning more about the merits of your case is to meet with a birth injury attorney for a free case review.
You may be eligible to pursue damages that include medical care costs, prescription drugs including pain management, pain and suffering and emotional distress, and more. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can connect you with a medical malpractice attorney in your state. Call 1-800-222-9529 now to get started.