It starts with a tiny wound—a cut, perhaps, or even just a bruise. The skin doesn’t have to be punctured.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) begins as a minor injury. Nobody quite understands why, but that small initial wound can trigger a major reaction in the patient’s nervous system. Progressive inflammation stimulates one set of nerves and then another, until the patient’s arm, leg, or other body part experiences nonstop burning pain. In some patients, the pain may erupt in an area far away from the original injury.
Patients have experienced CRPS following surgery, a broken bone, a muscle strain, as well as any other minor injury. There is no way to predict whether an injury will lead to the onset of complex regional pain syndrome—and there is no cure.
There are ways to treat the symptoms, however.
How doctors treat complex regional pain syndrome
In addition to pain that gradually grows in intensity and area, the following symptoms are typical for CRPS cases:
- Muscle spasms
- Sudden and dramatic skin temperature changes
- Discolored or swollen skin
- Cracked or broken fingernails or toenails
- Slowing or stopping hair growth on the affected area
- Difficulty standing, walking, or moving
- Withering or wasting away of muscle tissue
It’s worth repeating here that there is no cure for complex regional pain syndrome. Instead, doctors prescribe treatments to try to relieve pain and the secondary symptoms of the ailment. Pain relief can include oral and topical painkillers, steroids to ease inflammation, and even injecting opioids directly into the spinal cord. Physical therapy, antidepressants, biofeedback, electrical nerve stimulation, and other forms of therapy are useful for some patients. No single combination of approaches works for everyone. Each patient will need a treatment plan customized to his own needs.
Social Security disability benefits: part of your treatment plan
If you have a solid work history but now find yourself unable to hold down a job because of chronic pain, then you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) coverage. SSDI in Pennsylvania can help you pay for your medical therapy. If you have been receiving SSDI benefits for two years or more, you may even be eligible for Medicare benefits for your health care expenses, regardless of your age.
Here’s the problem: Most of the people who apply for SSDI have their applications refused. You can’t afford for that to happen to you if you are too disabled by chronic pain to work.
Here’s the solution: The Harrisburg Social Security lawyers at Schmidt Kramer. We have had considerable success getting Dauphin County clients the federal disability benefits they deserve, and this includes clients with intractable pain disorders. We’d like the opportunity to give you a helping hand, too. There is absolutely no risk to you: we collect a fee only if we’re able to secure your benefits. Call us at 717.888.8888 or (888) 476-0807 toll-free to schedule a free, confidential case review and to get on our mailing list for our FREE newsletter.