How Doctors Diagnose Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Although complex regional pain syndrome affects at least 200,000 individuals in the US, many are not aware of the condition until it affects them or a family member. Chronic pain is one of the main characteristics of CRPS, although there may be a variety of other symptoms.

Usually caused by a trauma or direct damage to the nerves, this rare condition is separated into Type 1 and Type 2. The first is most common, leaving patients to deal with pain that usually develops after another health issue may have already been resolved; for instance, Type 1 may be brought on after a car accident or a motorcycle crash or other serious trauma. If you were affected in this way, you may have sustained an injury such as a sprain that healed quite easily, but later morphed into CRPS symptoms that were not only long-lasting but much worse. Type 2 occurs after a direct injury to a nerve, and there is usually no doubt as to why it occurred.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the key indicators of CRPS is a burning feeling which may be felt throughout a much larger area than was originally affected by trauma. Just the slightest touch to the affected area may be painful, and those suffering from CRPS may notice skin irregularities, transformation in texture around the area, stiffness in the affected limb, issues with coordination and mobility (or even loss of), and in more extreme cases, dystonia (with one area of the body such as the hand becoming fixed in one position).

In diagnosing CRPS, a medical professional must rule out other disorders that have similar manifestations—most often found in other muscle conditions and even Lyme Disease. MRIs and other scans are often used by doctors during diagnosis, along with a range of nerve tests, and other types of evaluation depending on symptoms and severity. As we have discussed in a previous blog, early diagnosis and treatment of CRPS often results in a better outcome overall, although that may not always be possible as the patient is not as quick to report the condition due to confusion about what it is, and diagnosis may delayed.

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.