Is chronic pain officially considered to be a disability?

Is Chronic Pain a Disability

Approximately 20% of adult Americans experienced chronic pain in 2019, and 7% had chronic pain that limited their daily activities. With so many people suffering from different types of chronic pain, it can be difficult to define it. However, chronic pain is unlike other other types of pain: It is consistent, persisting almost every day for at least three months. When living with chronic pain for so long, it can be difficult to know whether to consider it a disability. 

Is your chronic pain a disability according to the U.S. government?

Chronic pain is often linked to a traumatic injury or preexisting condition like arthritis. It can be felt in any part of the body, and its intensity can range from a constant dull ache to a sharp pang. Living with chronic pain can limit your ability to complete daily activities, including walking, grocery shopping and cleaning. 

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a person with a disability is someone whose physical or mental issue substantially limits their daily activities. Meanwhile, the Social Security Administration deems a person disabled if their condition is listed as severe and has lasted — or is expected to last — a minimum of 12 months. According to these definitions, your chronic pain might be considered a disability in the U.S. if it: 

  • Hinders your daily activities.
  • Is defined as severe by your doctor.
  • Prevents you from going to work or fully meeting job requirements.
  • Has lasted or will likely last at least 12 months.
  • Has been well documented by imaging and tests.

How is chronic pain treated? 

Whether your chronic pain is defined as a disability in the U.S. or not, it can be treated by a variety of methods, including physical therapy. The following techniques can work alongside medication to increase a patient’s quality of life:

  • Aquatic therapy — Patients suffering from chronic pain can use aquatic therapy to exercise their body in a lower-tension environment. Fluid movement can help increase mobility and reduce joint pain.
  • Functional dry needling — Chronic pain patients can try functional dry needling to relieve their pain and fast-track healing. Dry needling is not acupuncture. Instead, it targets muscles to reduce pain and inflammation. 
  • Manual therapy Manual therapy can help chronic pain patients increase blood flow to their problem areas and mobilize their joints. Hands-on treatment can more accurately target problem areas. 

Border TS can help ease your chronic pain 

Do you feel that your chronic pain is a disability? Does it restrict your daily activity levels? Our team at Border Therapy Services can help you manage and decrease your chronic pain. Under the guidance of our experienced specialists, you can increase your mobility and meet your treatment goals. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.