Chronic Pain: Battling RSD CRPS
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. Chronic pain is typically defined as pain that remains present for more than 6 months. Sadly, people hurt in car accidents often find themselves in this situatuon. Chronic pain can be agonizing. Many times it becomes fully or partially incapacitating. It takes an emotional toll on the sufferer as well as his or her loved ones.
How Do Medical Professionals Define RSD CRPS?
The International Pain Foundation describes it as a neuro-autoimmune disease that’s been renamed over 20 times as new information pertaining to it is discovered. The “RSD” in the acronym refers to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and the “CRPS” stands for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. (Other sources still claim that CRPS refers to “Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome.”)
People can develop this condition without any known injury – or after suffering a broken bone, sprain, cervical sprain (whiplash) injury or undergoing an ill-fated surgery. This illness often affects the arms, hands, legs or feet. It can directly harm a patient’s skin, muscles, immune system, bones, and joints. Categorized as a progressive illness, it can spread to other parts of the body.
While men do sometimes develop this disease, it more commonly afflicts women. The elderly and young children are rarely affected.
What Types of Symptoms Do Patients Often Report?
If you have this disease, you’re likely to experience:
- Unusual swelling near the damaged limb or area of the body;
- Abnormal changes in your skin and nails near the affected area;
- Moderate to severe pain when your skin simply touches something like shower water or part of your clothing;
- Excessive or abnormal sweating in the area surrounding the damaged limb or joint;
- Unusual motor disorders that can cause dystonia or paralysis;
- Odd variances in skin temperature when comparing the same part of the body on the opposite side;
- Your pain may feel like a burning sensation – or cause an aching, cold feeling.
How Common is RSD CRPS?
About 200,000 Americans suffer from this rare ailment during any given year. Of course, thousands more are either misdiagnosed or left without an accurate assessment of the true source of their ongoing pain.
Prognosis for Those Suffering from This Illness
As is true for those afflicted with other diseases, individuals nearly always have a better chance for experiencing major improvements if they’re diagnosed early. Unfortunately, no one single test can prove that someone has this syndrome – instead, doctors must rely on carefully examining each patient and ruling out all other similar diseases.
Are There Any Effective, Alternative Treatments for This Illness?
A significant portion of patients may find it soothing or therapeutic to pursue:
- Special breathing exercises
- Various therapies offered by nutritionists and psychotherapists
- General stress reduction exercises
- Help from occupational and physical therapists who can teach you new ways of doing familiar tasks so that you’ll experience less pain.
Sacramento Chronic Pain & Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. If you’ve suffered serious injuries in an accident, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. If you’re calling from outside the Sacramento area, please use my toll-free number at (800) 404-5400.
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Image Attribution: Phantom.jpg via Wikimedia Commons