Pain is an unpleasant sensation that can range from mild to severe. It is usually considered chronic when it lasts more than three months. Many people with TBI have chronic pain at some time or another. This comic helps to explain the different types of pain and their effects.

This infocomic follows a TBI survivor as he joins a support group for chronic pain management. During his time at the support group, he learns about the common types of pain after TBI:

  • Headache
  • Neurological or nerve pain
  • Spasticity
  • Muscle or bone pain and co-occurring injuries
  • Pain sensation

Life with Chronic Pain


Welcome to the TBI Support Group

Pain is chronic when you've had it over 3 months

Yes, I have chronic pain.

Pain can make people want to avoid others

Common reasons for pain after TBI

Pain is personal

Pain can affect their ability to function

Pain can take many forms

Pain can take many forms

Find what works

There are many causes for pain

What works for me might not work for you

Headaches can begin weeks or months after a TBI

My headaches were caused by fatigue

If I don't pace myself, things can go downhill

A headache caused by fatigue

Sometimes I don't notice a headache until it's too bad

Pain Management Strategy #1

Once I'm in pain I can't function

I realized I need to pace myself

I adjusted parts of my life to conserve energy

Managing your activity

I started delegating tasks I used to do myself.

and I adjusted other activities

A lot of little changes made a big difference

We all have different experiences

Authorship and Illustration

Information Source of TBI and Chronic Pain: Part 1 Infocomic

Part 1 of the TBI and Chronic Pain infocomic series is based on the TBI and Chronic Pain factsheet series. This factsheet was developed by Silas James, MPA; Jeanne Hoffman, PhD; Sylvia Lucas, MD, PhD; Anne Moessner, APRN; Kathleen Bell, MD; William Walker, MD; CJ Plummer, MD; Max Hurwitz, DO, in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center.

Related Resources for TBI and Chronic Pain

You can learn more by exploring the many resources on our Traumatic Brain Injury and Chronic Pain page.