Complex regional pain syndrome is a condition that causes severe, chronic, and burning pain.
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) generally refers to Type I CRPS, in which the cause of nerve injury is unknown. On the other hand, Type II CPRS is caused by a major nerve injury. RSD causes pain that is out of proportion to the injury. The pain tends to worsen over time and often spreads to the legs and arms. The condition is hard to diagnose and there is no cure for it. Doctors can identify signs of RSD and treat the symptoms.
Symptoms of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
RSD is often linked to an injury or illness and its exact cause is still unknown. Common causes include cardiovascular illnesses, infection, cancer, and pressure on certain nerves. Some doctors believe that this condition may be linked to the sympathetic nervous system, which causes chronic pain regardless of the severity of the injury. Symptoms of RSD include:
- tissue swelling
- change in skin color
- joint stiffness
- excessive sweating
- redness in affected limb
- abnormal hair or nail growth
- skin temperature changes
- stretched and shiny skin
- extreme sensitivity to touch
- decreased mobility and function
The usual treatment for RSD includes steroids and opioids used to alleviate the pain and physical therapy is used to manage swelling; however, the prognosis is grim. Some patients experience crippling symptoms despite the treatment.
The Cost of RSD Treatments
You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for RSD if it is a result of a workplace injury or illness. Because RSC is a chronic condition, workers may be entitled to benefits even if the injury was aggravated by the job.
A worker may require prolonged treatment involving sympathetic nerve blocks, physical and occupational therapy, anesthesia injection therapy, psychological evaluation and counseling. A worker with RSD may need any of these treatments for a lifetime and may suffer loss of function. The worker may be eligible for a variety of benefits under the workers’ compensation program including temporary or permanent disability benefits.
Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you are suffering from RSD as a result of a workplace injury or illness, report your injury to the employer and seek immediate medical help. Talk to a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer to know more about your rights. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.