CRPS: Nerve Damage Pain May Last a Lifetime

Imagine being in a car crash or motorcycle accident and experiencing not only the trauma of such an event, but physical injury too. In more severe cases, motorists or passengers may be killed or sustain brain or spinal damage. Cuts and contusions and breaks and sprains are more common though and may heal right on target, with complex regional pain syndrome emerging as a complete—and very unwelcome—surprise.

CRPS brings a wide range of unique symptoms with it and is thought to be an inflammatory condition related to the immune system, brought on by initial nerve damage. In Type 1, this may occur after a trauma like a fall or a car accident; in Type 2, the nerve damage is usually obvious, along with the reason for it, like a surgery or perhaps an infection. While the limb previously associated with a break or sprain or other trauma is usually the only one afflicted by symptoms, over time, the patient may find both limbs affected—especially with movement disorders like dystonia where arms, legs, fingers, or toes become fixed in a twisted or otherwise awkward position.

Differences in the skin are often noted with the onset of CRPS, to include burning or swelling, along with sensitivity to temperature. The arm or leg may be discolored, and even glossy or thinned out in texture. Joints may feel stiff, and muscles may move unpredictably. The most prevalent symptom though is usually pain. Individuals suffering from CRPS are usually stymied by the sudden discomfort, and medical professionals may not be able to pinpoint the condition at first, being forced to rule out other problems before making a diagnosis, often with bone scans, X-rays, blood tests, and more.

For some, CRPS could just be episodic, disappearing after a short amount of time. For others though, this rare condition appears out of the blue and can make life permanently debilitating. Once the challenge of diagnosing CRPS is out of the way, the challenge of treating it follows. In milder cases, over-the-counter pain relievers may suffice—but for others, opioids may be necessary. Medical professionals may also prescribe corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, or nerve-blockers. Physical therapy can be helpful too, along with antidepressants and psychotherapy which may be especially vital for patients with chronic CRPS who are adjusting to ongoing pain and the drastic changes it has caused in their lives.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

CRPS: Pain Symptoms May Affect the Entire Body

It is said that good health is true wealth—and that escapes all too many of us until there is a serious issue like complex regional pain syndrome. Adapting to an illness or injury can be extremely challenging, and especially if it is a rare condition that can be both difficult to diagnose and treat. On top of that, when a condition like complex regional pain syndrome appears almost out of nowhere you may be dealing with pain and frustration. Although the causes of Type 1 CRPS are sometimes unknown (while Type 2 usually occurs after noted harm to the nerves), the trauma of a car accident and subsequent injury is a good example of an event that can trigger CRPS later.

The surprise factor in CRPS is not a good one. You may have had a broken arm or leg, or perhaps even just a moderate sprain that was treated and healed with ease—only to develop strange symptoms later that progressed into pain worse than the original injury! The signs of CRPS can be like other autoimmune diseases or inflammatory conditions, and they must be ruled out first. Diagnosis can be time-consuming, which is why medical help should be sought as soon as possible. Early treatment—often consisting of pain relievers (including topical medications), physical therapy, and more—usually means a better outcome for CRPS which can in some cases become progressive and chronic.

Often affecting an arm or leg at first (the one that may have been wounded in a car wreck or motorcycle crash, for instance), CRPS may transform the skin in unusual ways, leaving it tinged with blue or pink discoloration, along with causing extreme sensitivity to the slightest touch or change in temperature. There may be swelling, and the area may become thin and glossy in texture and feel clammy. If you are suffering from long-term CRPS there could be other issues as it spreads throughout the body to include one of the other limbs (or even all of them), the muscles and joints, bones, and immune system. Some patients may also see this condition go into a welcome remission—only to present itself again months later.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Dystonia May Develop in Connection with CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a condition fraught with uncertainty for many—especially at the beginning. Rare in that it only affects around 200,000 individuals in the US (who have reported it—there could be many others unknown) and is difficult to diagnose and sometimes to treat, CRPS can present itself with a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe. And whether a patient has Type 1 (caused by another injury that may have already healed) or Type 2 (marked by a known nerve injury), as you can probably construe from the name, pain is one of the most common issues, ranging from moderate to overwhelming pain that is treated with everything from over-the-counter pain relievers to opioids, and more, including a variety of different physical therapies.

Early Treatment of CRPS Can Lead to Better Outcome

Early diagnosis can be critical in treating CRPS which often shows initial symptoms related to skin which may be increasingly sensitive or even feel as if it is burning. The skin temperature may be cold or clammy, and there may be a blue or pinkish tinge along with a glossy texture on the affected limb. If the condition continues to evolve, serious muscular problems may arise, and the patient may be tempted to stop using an arm or hand or even be fearful of walking if one or both legs or feet are affected. While that is understandable, limiting the use of arms or legs could lead to atrophy and further complications for those suffering from CRPS.

Dystonia is a Common Symptom of CRPS

As muscles in the affected limb atrophy, other conditions may occur too, such as dystonia—marked by spasms and involuntary twisting, usually in a single area like the hand or foot, or fingers or toes of the affected limb; according to the Mayo Clinic. Dystonia can also affect many other areas of the body too such as the neck, causing it to be pulled in an awkward position. While in CRPS usually only the extremities are impacted, the condition has also been known to affect the jaw and tongue, and in some cases even the eyelids.

Dystonia May Affect Multiple Limbs

Research has shown that dystonia affects the majority of CRPS patients suffering from movement disorders—and that it also tends to present itself in patients who develop CRPS at a younger age. Such patients may also be vulnerable to experiencing dystonia in other limbs. Trauma such as a car accident injury is often to blame for CRPS, leading to sprains or fractures (or even more extreme issues like amputations) that may heal without major concern—only to see this rare condition occur later, prompting a surprising and even debilitating amount of pain. CRPS can be chronic and long-term, and medical treatment should be sought as soon as you begin to experience possible symptoms.

Contact Us for Help

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome—Also Known as Causalgia or RSD

Complex regional pain syndrome or causalgia is known to affect around 200,000 individuals in the U.S. today. Those numbers may be low due to underreporting of the condition or lack of true diagnosis, but the fact remains that it is a rare condition. CRPS is characterized by chronic pain that is often so bad patients become afraid to move or walk, resulting in further complications due to atrophy.

Original nerve damage may be due to a car accident injury or a surgery or other event. CRPS usually erupts not only painfully but also as a surprise to the individual who may have had a sprain or a break that already healed, only to find themselves later dealing with a health problem that is much worse. Symptoms often occur topically and internally; for example, unique changes to the skin are usually an indicator of CRPS, whether through color changes or transformation in texture. The skin often becomes so sensitive to touch that just the slightest contact with anything is painful. Joints and muscles may be affected too, and often severely so.

The condition is separated into two types, which also have alternative terms attached to them:

  • Type 1 CRPS – Ninety percent of the patients affected with CRPS have Type 1, also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD). The Mayo Clinic describes this type as one that occurs ‘after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage the nerves in your affected limb.’
  • Type 2 CRPS – This CRPS type has been referred to as causalgia in the past. It usually presents itself directly after an injury to a nerve, and without as much mystery about the painful onset.

If you are suffering from CRPS, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible for a successful outcome. Your doctor may diagnose CRPS through a CT, MRI, or a bone scan and then begin a regimen of treatment depending on the severity.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Bone Scans May Be Used to Diagnose Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome is a rare condition characterized by what is usually serious discomfort in areas that experienced trauma previously. What makes CRPS unique—and confuses patients suffering from symptoms—is that a mere sprain (brought on by a car accident or another trauma) which could have already completely healed may suddenly be replaced by chronic pain.

One limb is usually affected, and CRPS may present itself with a variety of symptoms. Discomfort or discoloration in skin is often an indicator of CRPS. If you are suffering from this condition, you may find that the appearance of your skin has changed to a blotchy color or it may be bluish or pink. The texture may have also become glossy and thin, and there may be burning or swelling. Coordination is an issue for some, and mobility can become difficult; in fact, CRPS is so severe in some cases that the fingers or toes may become fixed in an awkward position due to dystonia. Pain is also so severe that sometimes patients are anxious about bringing it on by moving at all. Muscles may begin to atrophy as a result.

Even if you are exhibiting the unique symptoms associated with CRPS, your doctor will probably rule out all other similar conditions first, to include other inflammatory or autoimmune diseases. MRIs are often used to diagnose CRPS, but bone scans are helpful too as they can display evidence of typical characteristics and abnormalities. Several phases are required for this type of diagnostic device, with the images recorded with initial blood flow. Next, blood pooling is recorded as doctors watch for inflammation, and a couple of hours later, they examine how much of the tracer used in the blood scan has been metabolized.

If a positive diagnosis has been made, treatments vary depending on severity; for example, in more moderate cases, doctors may suggest over-the-counter pain relievers. If that treatment does not work, they may prescribe opioids, nerve blockers, or corticosteroids like prednisone. Topical treatments or therapy may be suggested also, to include heat therapy, physical therapy, as well as other types of stimulation to alleviate pain and symptoms.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Burning Sensations Common Symptom of CRPS

For many of the 200,000 individuals or more in the US suffering from complex regional pain syndrome, both the onset of the condition and following symptoms can be confounding. While Type 2 CRPS (also known as causalgia) is usually more defined and presents itself after direct damage to the nerves, Type 1 (also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome) may occur after a trauma such as a car accident. Commons injuries often include minor sprains or fractures, but they may have already healed in entirety by the time CRPS symptoms arise, seemingly out of nowhere. If you have CRPS, you may have felt both frustrated and shocked after adjusting to a previous injury and then recuperating, only to have an even more uncomfortable and possible long-term chronic condition arise.

CRPS can include a variety of symptoms, with chronic pain being the most difficult to deal with. This may include burning in the affected limb (or limbs, although usually just one is affected), accompanied by possible swelling too. Symptoms vary in severity, but burning pain is sometimes described as intolerable, and the area may be extremely sensitive to touch and temperature as well. Changes to and discoloration in the skin is often a telltale sign of CRPS too, whether extremely pale or even bluish or pink. Hair may begin to grow abnormally on the affected limb too, along with tightening of the muscles and cramping.

If you have been experiencing substantial pain with CRPS, it’s not uncommon to feel anxious about moving or walking and bringing on discomfort. That can be a vicious cycle as mobility is painful, but without exercise muscles will atrophy. Dystonia is also a possibility, as fingers or toes become paralyzed in an abnormal position.

There is not a formal test for CRPS, but it can be narrowed down by ruling out other diseases with similar symptoms like Lyme disease, and then further diagnosed with CTs, MRIs, or bone scans. Depending on your pain, treatment could be as simple as ibuprofen or something stronger. Corticosteroids are sometimes prescribed, along with nerve blockers—and a range of therapies could be suggested, even including alternative methods like biofeedback or mirror therapy.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in Children

Complex regional pain syndrome lives up to every word in its name. Not only is it unusually complicated, but it is rare and hard to diagnose, and leads many to wonder how a condition often so severe could develop out of something which seemed so minor initially. Type 1 is the form of CRPS affecting 90 percent of patients after some sort of trauma, while Type 2 is rarer and develops from a direct nerve injury.

The condition only affects around 200,000 people in the US to begin with, with women more often having CRPS. So far, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are no children documented with CRPS under the age of five—and few under the age of ten. There tends to be a ‘peak age’ of 40, but for children who are suffering from CRPS, they tend to have complications due to missing school, missing activities, and feeling alone. There may also be a significant gap between the time that they start feeling symptoms from CRPS and the time that it is diagnosed, due to a lack of specific tests for the condition.

No matter their age, as Type 1 develops, the affected individual may be confused and surprised to find out they have CRPS. It can be hard to understand how an injury that healed fairly easily already has re-emerged as a chronic and very painful condition. Car accidents or motorcycle crashes that caused broken bones or sprains are often a trigger, as well as surgeries or even a mild stroke or other health issue.

Symptoms may transform the skin, leading to a wide array of issues such as overwhelming sensitivity and pain, discoloration at the site, and strange and uncomfortable ranges of temperature from hot, to cold, to clammy. Muscle spasms may occur, and those with CRPS sometimes have challenges with mobility overall, as well as issues with dystonia—where fingers or toes become fixed in an unnatural position. The pain associated with CRPS may be so severe at times that patients become afraid to move and trigger an episode.

A variety of medications may be prescribed for CRPS, to include pain relievers, corticosteroids—as well as prescriptive therapies.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Causes

Unless you know someone suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or have it yourself, chances are you may be unaware that the condition even exists. Characterized by a wide range of unusual symptoms, Type 1 (also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome or RSD) is often a condition that takes the patient by surprise. They may have been in a car crash, motorcycle accident, or another incident, and experienced a sprain or broken bone that already healed by the time CRPS symptoms arose. They may have also had a major surgery like an amputation or even just a minor procedure in a doctor’s office that triggered Type 1.

Type 2 CRPS (also known as causalgia) is usually brought on by direct nerve damage. Although the symptoms may be the same for both types, this form usually stays within the area that was affected at the time of nerve damage. Both Type 1 and Type 2 can be managed better for most patients if medical professionals are able to make a rapid diagnosis, but unfortunately that is not always so easy. There aren’t any specific tests for CRPS, but medical professionals may use a combination of tools to rule out the condition. They may examine an MRI or CT scan first, along with bone scans, looking for tissue changes. Doctors may also perform nerve system tests meant to gauge temperature and blood flow.

Symptoms often include changes to the skin, including discoloration and transformation in texture. Swelling and sensitivity are common, along with ongoing temperature changes from hot to cold to clammy or sweaty. Muscle spasms, weakness, issues with coordination, and more may occur, but the main symptom almost all patients have in common is pain. Depending on severity, it may be treated with something as simple as over-the-counter pain relievers. If something stronger is necessary, doctors may prescribe opioids, along with other medications to alleviate symptoms such as anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, nerve blockers, and more.

There are also numerous therapies available for CRPS. Physical therapy is often prescribed, along with heat therapy and other alternative forms such as mirror therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, biofeedback, and more.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Skin Sensitivity and Changes in Body Temperature May Point to CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic condition with no cure. While around 200,000 people in the US are known to have CRPS, it is thought that there may actually be many more who are suffering from the wide range of symptoms—of which the most common is pain and severe discomfort. There are two types associated with this condition. Type 1 (also previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome or RSD) is the most common form, and usually occurs after a trauma such as a car crash or motorcycle accident—or after a mild to serious event like a heart attack. Type 2 (also known as causalgia) is rarer, usually resulting from a direct, known injury to a nerve.

While pain is usually the first symptom to arise in pointing to CRPS, there is a long and varied list of associated and unpleasant symptoms. Most patients have no idea what CRPS is initially, struggling with discomfort that arrives on the heels of what is usually a less intense injury. An ankle sprain from a car accident may heal, but soon after CRPS takes its place with surprising ferocity.

Skin sensitivity is common, usually occurring in the limb of the previous injury, although the other limb may be affected eventually too. While skin discoloration or swelling may be apparent (along with unusual hair or nail growth), in some cases, the nerve sensitivity may be invisible—but severe. Many individuals report pain after something as mild as a slight breeze touches the area. Unusual skin temperature may cause discomfort too, due to nerve damage and circulation issues. The skin may become cold, clammy, or sweaty, and may switch from one to the other unpredictably. These types of temperature issues and changes may also be a way for medical professionals to diagnose CRPS, along with ruling out other similar conditions or diseases and using MRIs, CTs, and bone scans.

For a more successful outcome, swift diagnosis and treatment are recommended. Depending on the severity, doctors may suggest something as mild as over-the-counter pain relievers. They may also prescribe stronger medications to help patients deal with the pain, along with corticosteroids, topical anesthetics like Lidocaine, and more. Numerous therapies can be helpful too, from physical therapy to relaxation therapy, mirror therapy, biofeedback, and other methods.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

CRPS is a Physical Disorder Often Accompanied by Severe Pain

Complex regional pain syndrome is a condition unknown to many. Said to be affecting under five percent of those with nerve damage in the US (although the numbers may be considerably higher due to underreporting), CRPS usually comes as a surprise to those afflicted with this rare disorder as it may affect an area that was thought to have already healed. Physical trauma from a car accident is a common reason for triggering CRPS, even if the original injury was fairly mild.

A wrist or ankle sprain or even a break may have occurred and healed easily, only to have CRPS develop afterward with a pain that is far more intense than the original health problem. The condition can even sometimes be triggered by a cast being put on to heal a broken limb or a procedure as minor as having a shot administered. CRPS usually becomes apparent with intense discomfort, and symptoms such as burning, throbbing, and extreme sensitivity are common; in fact, affected limbs can be so sensitive that just being outside in a minor breeze can be painful—as well as enduring just the slightest touch. The skin may also become discolored, glossy in texture, and temperature of the area in question may vary between hot, cold, and clammy.

Patients with CRPS sometimes become so fearful of the associated pain that they are reluctant to move—exacerbating an already weakened state and causing further atrophy to muscles. Along with that, the other limb may become affected. Swelling, stiffness of joints, and muscle spasms may also occur. Once medical professionals are able to make a diagnosis (generally by ruling out other illnesses), they may recommend one or more of the following medications or treatment:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Prescription pain relievers such as opioids
  • Corticosteroids like prednisone to eliminate inflammation
  • Nerve blockers to stop pain
  • Anticonvulsants

Physical therapy is often necessary, along with other CRPS treatments like heat, topical anesthetics (like Lidocaine), nerve or spinal cord therapy—and sometimes even options like relaxation therapy or biofeedback. CRPS sufferers may become depressed too as pain causes restriction and numerous (not always pleasant, unfortunately) adjustments to their way of life. Antidepressants may be prescribed along with ongoing therapy via a licensed medical health professional.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.