Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy & Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
The attorneys at Gerald Brody & Associates can help
When it comes to choosing a workers’ compensation lawyer to defend your rights to medical care and disability benefits, no one knows the system better than Gerald Brody & Associates. We have experience handling all types of trauma cases, and will fight tooth and nail to ensure you receive maximum payment for your losses. Give us a call today at (619) 528-9800 to schedule your free consultation.
For those suffering from chronic pain, the terms Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS) are likely the last thing you want to hear. These are umbrella terms used to describe a variety of conditions that result in exaggerated region pain throughout the body.
What Is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy?
If you have ever broken a bone or dislocated your shoulder, you’ve witnessed the healing powers of the body. It may take some time, but the inflammation gradually fades and your range of motion returns to normal. But for someone who suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), the pain doesn’t go away after an initial injury heals. In fact, the full extent of nerve and tissue damage related to the trauma often isn’t seen until months or years later.
If you suffer from chronic pain and receive a RSD diagnosis that can be traced to a workplace injury, you may qualify for workers’ compensation that will pay for your medical care and ongoing disability benefits.
Am I at Risk of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
One known cause of RSD and CPRS is trauma. They often appear after an employee suffers a workplace accident that results in nerve and tissue damage. Symptoms can present themselves in the hands, feet, legs, back, neck and any other area with severe damage.
The total picture of the damage is often not seen until months or years later – as the patient heals – but the nerve damage continues to cause chronic pain. In many cases, these conditions cause swelling, temperature changes, skin changes and even an ongoing burning sensation that is painful to the touch.
What causes reflex sympathetic dystrophy?
While doctors aren’t sure what causes RSD, there are a variety of events that can trigger the condition, including:
Stroke and brain injuries
Damage to blood vessels
Degenerative arthritis of the neck
In approximately 30 percent of RSD cases, the cause for intense chronic pain arising from a relatively minor trauma isn’t established. However, that doesn’t make the symptoms of the condition any less debilitating.
What are the symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy?
The onset of RSD varies from person to person. For some, the symptoms appear gradually. It can begin as stiffness, discomfort, or weakness in the affected area. For others, the condition develops suddenly and causes severe pain, stiffness, and extreme sensitivity. With RSD, the pain often spreads beyond the area of the initial injury and is more severe than the original trauma. Additional symptoms in the early stages of RSD include redness, tenderness, localized sweating, and limited mobility.
After three to six months, the symptoms of RSD transition from the acute stage to the dystrophic stage. At this time, the pain becomes more intense and the range of motion increasingly restricted. The skin may appear discolored and blue due to the lack of blood flow to the area. The long-term effects of RSD, referred to as the atrophic stage, can result in complete loss of motion and function in the affected body part. Muscle mass may decrease, and x-rays often reveal osteoporosis.
Does Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Merits Workers Compensation?
It can be very difficult to nail down a diagnosis of either RSD or CPRS. However, if you were the victim of a workplace mishap, you should continue to seek help from a qualified medical professional to get to the bottom of the problem.
If your doctors reach a consensus that RSD or CPRS are the problem, you could be facing lifelong pain and changes to your way of living. This gives you ample reason to file Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy claims or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome claims depending on your doctor's diagnosis.
In most cases, this means that you can expect the pain to have a long-term impact on your health and quality of life and that you deserve compensation.
Workers' Compensation for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
If it's time for you to consider filing your workers' compensation claim for RSD or CPRS, contact Gerald Brody & Associates. We are skilled workers' compensation attorneys with experience handling trauma cases relating to all kinds of accidents.
Whether your pain is in your hands, your neck, your back, or elsewhere, you need to know that you are hiring an attorney who understands the severity of your pain and suffering and can present your medical case clearly and effectively.
It only takes a single workplace accident to forever change your life. Don't let RSD or CPRS drag you down without holding your employer accountable for accidents that occurred in the workplace.