Apart from the more widely-publicized injuries like brain injuries and conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder that veterans returning home from combat duty struggle with, many also struggle with chronic pain. In fact, approximately 50% of all soldiers who return home to the United States after combat duty overseas find themselves struggling with consistent and chronic pain. This has contributed to a disturbing trend-the increasing risk of dependence on pain killers in veterans who use these medications to cope with their pain.
According to the results of the study which were published recently in the Journal JAMA Internal Medicine, approximately 44% of veterans who returned from duty in Afghanistan and Iraq reported chronic pain. That was more than double the estimate for the civilian population. Veterans are also more likely to use prescription narcotic drugs for pain treatment. About 15% of soldiers who returned from combat duty used painkillers within the last month.
The primary cause of this chronic pain was combat-related injuries among the veterans. Veterans, who suffered a combat-related injury were three times more likely to report pain and also twice as likely to report the use of narcotic painkilling medications for their pain. They were also twice as likely to report pain if they were also suffering from other conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
There are cultural and other factors that are responsible for the low level of management of pain among veterans. In the military, admitting to pain is seen as a sign of weakness, and many vets fail to report pain. That leads to under treatment of the problem.
If you are a veteran who suffers from chronic pain or any other consequence of your combat-related injuries, you are likely eligible for disability benefits. Speak with a California veterans benefits lawyer about your options for compensation.