Avoiding chronic pain after injury in the workplace

American workers compensation insurers, The Travelers* Companies, has announced that it has developed the first predictive model designed to reverse a sharp rise in chronic pain caused by workplace injuries.

The patent-pending Travelers Early Severity PredictorSM identifies the likelihood of an injured employee developing chronic pain.

It is reported that 50% of serious injuries in America result in chronic pain.

Those with an identified risk receive a customised, sports medicine-like regime of treatment precisely sequenced to aid and accelerate their recovery. The aim being to avoid the development of chronic pain during their recovery and reduce the use of opioids or other painkillers.

The scheme has already been applied in more than 20,000 cases since early 2015 with more than 9,000 injured employees identified as being at risk of developing chronic pain.

It is claimed that those who participated in the program in the past year have, on average, recovered and returned to work more quickly. They were also far less likely to have needed to utilise opioids, and when they did, it was typically at a lower dosage or for short-term use.

Clearly the system is more appealing in the USA due to the cost of medical treatment being met privately as part of employment terms. With the average costs of each claim being nearly $40,000 per injury, the scheme hopes to reduce medical expenses by as much as 50 percent.

*Travelers is the leading workers compensation carrier in the United States. The company manages more than 250,000 workplace injury claims and 3.5 billion medical treatments per year.

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