You’ve had an injury at work, and you’re trying to heal.  But a painful condition can add injury to injury and complicate your recovery.  This syndrome—Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is also known as “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” (CRPS).  It’s a chronic neurological condition, where the nervous system has abnormal functioning after an injury.

While you’re trying to recover from your injury, if it doesn’t seem to be healing properly, you should notify your doctor.  This is especially the case, if you have severe burning pain, changes to your bone or skin, excessive sweating, swelling, or extreme sensitivity to the touch. You may be experiencing CPRS, and early detection and treatment can be critical for combating the condition. 

Your doctor will examine you and take a detailed medical history.  If you have an injury that isn’t healing normally, and a lot of pain, it is likely to be diagnosed as CRPS if you also have swelling, movement disorders, abnormal nervous system functioning, or changes in tissue growth.  There is no specific test for CRPS, but your doctor may ask for additional bone scans or x-rays to help in the diagnosis.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for CPRS, but treatment is still important, because it can help to reduce the pain and prevent future complications.  The most likely treatment options are:

·           Medication:  There are many different types of medications, depending on what kind of pain you     have, such as cramping pain, shooting pain, constant pain, etc.  Also, whether the pain affects your sleep or is related to a recent injury will relevant. 

Your doctor may use several medications at once, or may try some in a sequence to achieve the best result.

·         Physical Therapy:  Various types of therapy programs may help relieve the pain.  Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, or pressure techniques.  Physical therapists are also excellent sources for working with you on strategies for using the injured body part in different ways that would be less painful.

·         Sympathetic Nerve Blocks:  Often chronic pain such as CRPS is caused by the sympathetic nerves that are not properly regulating the blood flow, sweating and other functions.  If those nerves are blocked, pain may be relieved.

·         Surgical Sympathectomy:  When the blocks don’t relieve the pain, this surgery may help in cases where the pain is being caused by the sympathetic nerve functioning.  During the procedure, a permanent block is inserted.  This is a fairly drastic option of last resort, because there are complications that could occur

From a legal standpoint, not every attorney understands these injuries or has experience with them.  We certainly do as does every attorney we work with.  If you have questions or need help finding a lawyer please contact us.

We are workers’ compensation attorneys that help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys. Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.