The Guidance You Deserve If You Have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Sometimes, an injury to an arm or leg results in aftereffects consisting of prolonged, excessive pain caused by misfunctioning peripheral C-fiber nerve fibers. Doctors and other experts may call this phenomenon complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). This type of pain syndrome is debilitating, whether it is acute pain (sudden and intense) or chronic pain (lasting six months or longer).
CRPS can make a typical recovery process after a broken bone or a similar injury difficult or impossible to reach within a reasonable time frame. Any person with CRPS and their doctor may struggle to find solutions when the pain and other symptoms – such as changing skin color or texture, hot or cold sensations, swelling, weakness and/or muscle shrinkage – do not go away for some time. In rare cases, disability from CRPS may last for much longer than a few months.
To discuss how to handle a workers’ compensation claim when your injuries include CRPS, consult with a CRPS attorney. At Smith, Feddeler & Smith, P.A., we will listen carefully and guide you in the pursuit of your fair workers’ compensation benefits to cover the expenses related to your complex regional pain syndrome.
If You Need More Time To Heal After An Injury On The Job, You Deserve It
The good news about CRPS is that most sufferers of it do slowly get better, ultimately experiencing healing and relief from their pain. However, the recovery can take much longer than expected after an injury such as a broken bone. Additionally, proper treatment with specialized physicians who handle complex regional pain syndrome may be necessary. In the meantime, debilitating pain can prevent the return to a normal lifestyle. A CRPS sufferer may:
- Need ongoing physical therapy or other treatments
- Need more time to rest and heal from pain
- Be unable to go back to work for an extended time
Do not be surprised if your employer and/or their workers’ compensation insurer demonstrate impatience or skepticism about the severity of your CRPS-related injuries and your pain. Our workers’ compensation attorneys at Smith, Feddeler & Smith, P.A., have helped many injured workers overcome obstacles when workers’ comp benefits were cut off too soon or doctors appointed by workers’ comp insurers were not flexible or understanding of CRPS. If you are struggling with the symptoms of CPRS, we can fight for your right to an accurate complex regional pain syndrome diagnosis, appropriate health care and the necessary amount of time off work. In some cases, you might also have the grounds for a personal injury claim.
What To Know About Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Patients who experience a heart attack, stroke or another injury sometimes develop reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or RSD, soon afterward. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a condition in which tissue, but not the underlying nerve, suffers damage. The term reflex sympathetic dystrophy is another for type 1 complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). These cases comprise about 90% of all CRPS cases.
Sufferers of RSD experience severe chronic pain in a specific region of the body – usually the hands, feet and other extremities. Some of the symptoms include:
- Extreme burning, stinging or tearing sensations
- Disproportionately severe pain
- Heightened sensitivity to sensory stimuli
- Motor range impairment
- Dystonia (muscle contractions)
- Excessive warmth or coolness in the affected region
- Change in skin color (to red or blue)
There is no certain cause for reflex sympathetic dystrophy. However, many patients who develop RSD were immobile during their injury recovery period. Immobility may have something to do with how body tissue heals after an injury. The less a patient can move around, the greater the likelihood of developing reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Another theory is that RSD is related to the sympathetic nervous system, which constricts the flow of blood to the body, particularly the extremities, during high-stress situations.
Currently, reflex sympathetic dystrophy does not have a cure. Fortunately, physical therapy and certain prescription medications can treat it. Through physical therapy, patients can decrease their body’s sensitivity, improve mobility and develop coping skills. Some pharmacological treatments can include antidepressants to balance brain chemistry, anticonvulsants to treat muscle spasms and painkillers to help patients manage their chronic pain.
Ask A Lawyer What To Do If Your Recovery Is Prolonged Because Of CPRS
We are here to advise and represent you in support of your short-term needs and your long-term best interests after an on-the-job injury that has triggered CPRS. Is your employer threatening to eliminate your position because your healing from CRPS is taking too long? Ask us about employment laws related to CRPS workers’ compensation cases.