Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Archive for the ‘Pain’ Category

Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by Mark Tawn No Comments

Pain and Fame (2) – Agony Ant

Sadly, it has recently been claimed that Ant McPartlin, one half of the nation’s favourite double-act Ant & Dec, has checked into rehab.

We have blogged about how pain can affect anyone at any time, including the rich and famous.

Ant McPartlin

Newspaper reports suggest that Ant has been suffering with chronic pain for years – because of  problems with his right knee. Also, it is said that Ant and his wife have been upset by an inability to have children. We add our voice to the outpouring of support for Mr McPartlin, his wife and those around him.

Ant McPartlin

Anthony David ‘Ant’ McPartlin, OBE  was born in 1975.  Best known as one half of the acting and TV presenting duo Ant & Dec.

Ant’s first career break was in the children’s drama series Byker Grove which led to a pop music careeer for himself and Declan Donnolley as PJ & Duncan. Ant and Dec went on to have a very successful career as television presenters, presenting I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway since 2002, Britain’s Got Talent since 2007 and Text Santa since 2011.

It can happen to anyone

We reported in one of our Success Stories how one of our clients suffered botched knee surgery. He went on to develop CRPS, a devastating condition which caused agonising pain and considerable disability. It may be that Ant’s knee problem was age-related and that his surgery was skilfully performed but if somebody else has been at fault, as in our client’s case, compensation can be claimed.

Money may not be an issue for actors and TV stars who can afford to pay for private treatment. For ordinary folk interim payments and a final compensation award can lead to rehabilitation, care and assistance, a move to more suitable accommodation and peace of mind.

Mark Tawn, who has a special interest in chronic pain cases comments:

It is sad to hear about Ant McPartlin. I remember when he was in Byker Grove and over the years my children have grown up watching him on TV. My favourite moment was seeing Ant & Dec in Love Actually – hilarious! Chronic pain is terrible. Some of my clients have fallen into despair, never knowing if or when their troubles will come to an end; others have struggled with side-effects from medication they have been prescribed and others have craved rehabilitation but been unable to access it. Hopefully Ant will make a full recovery and will become a vocal supporter for others who suffer daily.

If you are suffering with chronic pain as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault contact us and see how we can help.


Axium™ Neurostimulator

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator Stimulator launched

On 11th April 2016 St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device company, announced the U.S. launch and first post-approval implants of the St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator System.

The treatment for patients with chronic pain involves dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. it is hoped that the treatment will help patients who have not been receptive to traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

The first commercial implants of the St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator System device have taken place at the Centre for Pain Relief in Charleston, and at the Sutter Santa Rosa Surgery and Endoscopy Centre in Santa Rosa, California.


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(Photo: Business Wire)

Half of the states in the USA will treat patients using the  DRG implants in the coming weeks.

St. Jude Medical has partnered with 59 implanting chronic pain specialist centres across the country. They hope to conduct more than 100 procedures in the first month.

They aim to train more than 300 physicians to effectively deliver DRG therapy to patients over the next year.

The treatment is designed for patients in immediate need of targeted stimulation to alleviate chronic pain resulting from moderate to severe chronic intractable pain of the lower limbs in adult patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) types I and II.

Stimulation of the DRG, a spinal structure densely populated with sensory nerves that transmit information to the brain via the spinal cord, allows physicians to treat the specific areas of the body where pain occurs. This new approach is designed exclusively to treat moderate to severe chronic intractable pain of the lower limbs in adult patients with CRPS.

Dr Pope, who has already performed the procedure says that, “Stimulation of the dorsal root ganglion is the first therapy option designed specifically for patients suffering from complex regional pain syndromes. This serious and traditionally challenging to treat chronic pain condition can occur from complications to recovery from surgeries such as knee arthroscopy, foot surgery or hernia surgery. Having a treatment option rooted in clinical evidence fundamentally changes our approach to treating patients.”

The Institute of Medicine reports that chronic pain affects more than 100 million Americans. This is more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. Neuropathic pain represents one of the most prevalent yet under-treated forms of chronic pain in the United States.

Initial results evaluating patients suffering from neuropathic chronic intractable pain associated with CRPS I and II or peripheral causalgia (PC), showed DRG stimulation provided patients with superior pain relief over traditional tonic SCS.

Information for patients to learn more about chronic pain can be found at

View source version on

If you are suffering from chronic pain syndrome as a result of an accident or someone else’s negligence call our experts on 01285 654875.


Central Pain Syndrome discussed

Posted on: April 11th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Central Pain Syndrome also known as Thalamic Pain Syndrome/Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome

We recently acted for a client suffering from a Central Pain Syndrome.

In 1906 two French neurologists, Dejerine and Roussy, found that strokes could give rise to pain. A lesion suffered on one side of the thalamus following stroke might cause pain on the opposite side of the body.

Recently, we acted for a client (“X”) who had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.

One of our experts noted X’s significant physical symptoms. X showed signs of being in pain on one side of his body from stimuli that would not normally cause pain e.g. just resting a foot on a wheelchair footplate.

Review of X’s CT scan revealed contusion within the left thalamic brain region causing the expert to indicate that X’s symptoms were in keeping with Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome. Further evidence from a specialist neurologist was arranged.

Central Pain Syndrome

It is now understood that damage to the Central Nervous System (“CNS”) and not just to the thalamus can cause pain and loss of sensation in various parts of the body. CPS can develop following brain tumours, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis (“MS”) or other conditions affecting the CNS.

Use of the term Central Pain Syndrome (“CPS”) reflects the fact that damage to various area of the CNS can cause pain and stroke need not be the primary cause.

Where stroke is the primary cause the preferred term now used is Central Post Stroke Pain.

The level of pain caused by CPS varies from one person to another. Some individuals experience pain which is mild and periodic, others may have terrible, unremitting pain which drastically affects their lives and may consequently devastate relationships.

If you, or a loved one, have developed a Central Pain Syndrome following an accident and you would like to discuss it with a serious injury expert please call us on 01285 654875.

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What is Pain?

Posted on: March 3rd, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Pain; what is it?

Mark Tawn discusses

Serious Injury Expert Mark Tawn


At some time in our lives most of us experience it.

But just what is pain?

My English dictionary provides the definition as:

“Physical hurt or discomfort caused by injury or illness….emotional suffering or mental distress.”

Interestingly, my concise medical dictionary doesn’t include a definition. Perhaps this is because the answer is far from straightforward.

IASP, the International Association for the Study of Pain defines it  as:

“An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage”.

The notes to this definition continue:

“…Pain is always subjective…It is unquestionably a sensation in a part or parts of the body, but it is always unpleasant and therefore also an emotional experience….Many people report pain in the absence of tissue damage or any likely pathophysiological cause; usually this happens for psychological reasons. There is usually no way to distinguish their experience from that due to tissue damage if we take the subjective report. If they regard their experience as pain, and if they report it in the same ways as pain caused by tissue damage, it should be accepted as pain.”

In the context of having suffered an accident my clients often report pain to many different people. These may include:

  • Emergency service personnel – paramedics, ambulance crew, police or fire crew
  • Hospital staff – A&E, nurses, orthopaedic, neurology, rheumatology or pain management
  • GPs
  • Family and friends
  • Employers and colleagues
  • DWP/welfare benefits personnel
  • Me!

How is pain described?

I have heard (and read) hundreds of different expressions and words from many different clients to describe their feelings, these include:

Ongoing, constant, periodic, occasional, permanent, regular, worsening, mild, moderate, bad, terrible, awful, agonising, excruciating, burning, gnawing, stabbing, niggling, exhausting, freezing, deep, like toothache, worse than having a baby, the worst agony I’ve ever had.


How does pain affect people?

Because it is subjective it affects different people in different ways.

One client who had to have surgery without any anaesthetic, when asked about his experience brushed it aside saying: “worse things happened during the war.”

Another, who had suffered a low velocity road traffic collision, was in “constant agony” which continued, unabated, for years despite all sorts of treatment: medication and injections, physical therapy and psychological therapy. The same client underwent investigations which included X-rays and MRI scans which revealed no underlying bony injury (e.g. a break or fracture), nor any soft tissue damage that would account for the reported symptoms.

For how long does pain last?

It may be short-lived. This is referred to as acute pain.

Long term pain, which has lasted for three months or more, is widely referred to as chronic pain.

What types are there?

Nociceptive pain occurs when nerves which sense and respond to parts of the body are activated (usually by damage) transmitting signals to the brain. When the damage heals the pain usually ceases.

Neuropathic pain results from injury to or a problem with the nervous system. The injury may not actually include damage to the nerves. The experience of pain continues beyond the apparent healing of damaged tissue. The system itself is (or has become) dysfunctional.

Pain may be experienced owing to a mix of neuropathic and nociceptive factors and can be complicated by psychological and social issues.

Why might other issues affect me?

If one is suffering and it isn’t getting better (or worsening) all sorts of questions can arise: Who will take the kids to school? Might I lose my job? How will I pay the bills? This can cause worry, anxiety, fear, and may lead to depression. This can be a downward spiral:

Pain → worry → more pain → more worry

The degree of discomfort experienced can also be influenced by broader social issues. Absence from work can cause problems with employers, the need to claim benefits, to find help from charities and so on. It can affect relationships: feeling or becoming needy or dependent; partners becoming carers as opposed to lovers and withdrawal or alienation from family and friends.

In a compensation claim if you have long term pain it is vitally important that your solicitor discusses these issues with you and those nearest to you.

If you have a complex claim talk to us: