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Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is the presence of extended pain beyond an expected healing period. Such pain has typically lasted for more than 6 months since onset.
Chronic pain has many possible sources, often originating in previous physical, neurological, or disease related traumas.

Observing Chronic Pain in the Classroom

Faculty might observe the following in students with chronic pain:

  • May hesitate to move, especially after sitting for a period of time
  • May have difficulty sitting or standing in one position for extended period
  • May appear fatigued or distracted due to pain

Resources

Related Functional Characteristics

Fatigue (Physical) : Students with chronic pain may experience physical fatigue due to ongoing pain or medication side effects.

Information Processing Speed : Students who take certain pain medications for pain management may find their ability to process information is impeded.

Motor Skill (Gross Lower) : Students with chronic pain may have difficulties with gross motor skills in their lower bodies or legs due to pain, muscle, tendon, or ligament damage, or muscle fatigue.

Motor Skill (Gross Upper) : Students with chronic pain may have difficulty with muscle control in their arms due to pain, muscle, tendon, or ligament damage, or muscle fatigue.

Pain Management : Students with chronic pain may also have experienced nerve, muscle, or tendon damage and often have difficulty standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Restlessness (Physical) : Individuals with chronic pain may need to constantly shift their position to relieve pain if they have to sit in one position for long periods of time.

Service Animal Needs : Students with chronic pain may have service animals to help them with physical tasks such as balance or carrying books.

The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project was funded by the US Department of Education Office of Secondary Education grant #P333A080070-09. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.