The Canadian Government have devised income support schemes like CPP Disability benefits and Disability tax Credits to help people suffering from chronic pain issues by providing supplementary income, however getting approved for these benefits is not that straight forward.
While health professionals in Canada disagree on the exact point at which acute pain becomes chronic, the general consensus is that any pain lasting more than 12 weeks can be considered so. The causes of chronic pain can be elusive though known sources include back injury, arthritis, (particularly rheumatoid arthritis), carpal tunnel syndrome and many forms of cancer in their advanced stages. The government of Canada is dedicated to helping you live a comfortable, pain-free life through the Disability Tax Credit for Chronic Pain.
People dealing with this type of pain often become depressed and sedentary which can create additional problems that make the formulation of an effective treatment regimen problematic.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
- Persistent mild to severe pain
- Stabbing, shooting or burning pain
- Stiffness, muscle tightness and chronic discomfort
In addition to depression, sufferers experience a host of other side effects that can make even the simplest daily activity a challenge. These additional side effects include:
- Fear, anxiety and a sense of despair
- Weakened immune system
- Mood swings
As the above list suggests the emotional toll of this condition is often considerable and can actually make the pain worse. Feelings of depression, fear and hopelessness can create complex interactions between mind and body which must be addressed in concert with the underlying condition.
Disability Tax Credit for Chronic Pain and Other Support
Although much progress has been made in recent years there is still no single treatment that will guarantee full relief from chronic pain. Today, a typical treatment regimen may include:
- Drug Therapy: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen) may be prescribed for lower levels of pain. If these are not able to provide relief, your doctor may decide stronger medications such as Celebrex, Percocet or Vicodin are called for. In a limited number of cases a local injection of a nerve-numbing medicine known as a “nerve block” may be administered to target a specific set of nerves causing pain.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy aims to address general stiffness and muscular tightness through exercise and massage. Exercise helps the body stay strong and loose, improves mood and releases endorphins, (the body’s natural pain relievers), while massage therapy may be more effective in targeting specific areas of pain.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy which addresses imbalances to the natural flow of the body’s energy. It is believed that acupuncture eases pain by exerting influence on the body’s neurotransmitters, though the fact is that Western medicine does not fully understand how this is accomplished. For that reason acupuncture is still often classified as an experimental or “alternative” form of treatment.
- Psychological Counseling: Treatment plans for patients dealing with long-term pain must be tailored to the individual. In most cases, however, that treatment involves addressing and changing the way the patient thinks about pain, addressing side effects like anxiety and depression and teaching the patient relaxation techniques.
The battle against chronic pain is one of the most challenging a person can face. In order to devise an effective treatment all aspects of the condition must be taken into account and a multi-pronged response initiated with the goal of reducing pain and returning the patient to useful functionality. Expenses for treatment can be covered by the Disability Tax Credit for Chronic Pain when qualified.
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