Genes factor in how individuals feel pain after car accident

Individuals involved in car accidents often suffer a variety of physical injuries. Even those who are not seriously injured, many experience persistent pain that is not seemingly attributable to any medical cause. While many of these individuals where previously accused of imagining the pain or embellishing their symptoms, new research indicates there may be a genetic factor for how individuals tolerate and feel pain.

Researchers from a prominent research university recently conducted a study in which they reviewed the medical data of 948 adults who had been involved in car accidents. In their findings, they determined that specific genetic markers exist that impact how individuals experience pain both immediately following an accident and weeks or months later.

The results of the study are significant in that they may aid medical professionals in diagnosing and treating chronic pain associated with car accidents. Likewise, the results prove that there is indeed a biological basis for the development of pain symptoms, even if no medical cause can be determined.

Often individuals involved in car accidents suffer pain from injuries long after they are supposedly healed. Previously, complaints from these individuals were dismissed by medical professionals as no medical tests were able to pinpoint a medical cause for their pain. With this data, however, medical professionals may be able to develop more individualized treatment plans to help patients better cope and mange chronic pain.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Pain Level After Car Crash Could Depend on Your Genes, Studies Say," Maureen Salamon, Oct. 16, 2012

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