CRPS Discomfort Can Be Some of the Worst Pain Experienced

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare and unique condition that currently causes discomfort and sometimes intense and chronic suffering for around 200,000 people in the US today. While its causes are not always known, CRPS is divided into two different types. Type 1 may occur with no warning or known damage to the nerves, but it often follows an illness or trauma. You may have been in a car accident or a motorcycle crash, experienced an unfortunate amputation, or even something as simple as having a shot administered. The impact to the body may have healed and been forgotten, only to have CRPS begin causing symptoms in the area that was affected—usually one limb (although it can spread to both). Type 2 is usually caused by something that directly affects the nerves and is realized at the time; for instance, Type 2 CRPS may occur after a surgical procedure with complications.

The condition is usually a surprise to the patient, and often medical professionals too who may be challenged to make a diagnosis until all other more conventional diseases can be ruled out with specific tests. There is no specific testing for CRPS, but once it has been diagnosed, treatment should begin as early as possible for the best overall, long-term outcome. The symptoms are unusual too, and often present themselves around the skin, causing discoloration, tenderness, burning and swelling, and more; in fact, the pain can be so severe that just the lightest touch or even a faint breeze can be intensely uncomfortable.

As the name would suggest, CRPS is centered around pain, and sometimes it is so bad that the patient may become almost unwilling to use the limb or limbs that are affected. Joints may be stiff and swollen, and muscles may spasm, along with becoming weaker over time—even to the point of atrophy. Dystonia is often associated with CRPS too, with fingers or toes becoming fixed in an abnormal or twisted position. Pain may be extreme, and continual, in some cases. Treatments vary from over-the-counter medications to opioids to nerve blockers, accompanied by physical therapy at some point. Anti-convulsant medication may be prescribed, as well as antidepressants and 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.

CRPS: Even the Slightest Touch May Invoke Pain

Complex regional pain syndrome affects a small number of people in comparison to other more widespread conditions, but with 200,000 people (at least) suffering, that still means a lot of patients are living in discomfort. CRPS is not only considered rare, but extremely unique. Often, the patient may have experienced something traumatic like a car accident or motorcycle crash that resulted in an injury paling in comparison to the suffering caused by CRPS.

While a broken or even sprained ankle may cause considerable pain and inconvenience in mobility, it is an injury that usually heals without complication. If you have been stricken with CRPS, you may have been shocked to experience its onset in lieu of a health issue that dissipated. The symptoms can range from moderate to extremely painful and debilitating, whether you suffer from Type 1 (after an injury that occurred with little known nerve damage) or Type 2 (after an incident causing direct, known nerve damage). Epidermal pain is common, to the extent that even a breeze blowing on your arm or leg may be painful. Even the lightest touch or a bit of fabric making contact may cause torture.

Such discomfort is unusual and while you may not understand it, it may be even harder for those closer to you to comprehend your pain—and on top of that, medical professionals may be challenged to give you an initial diagnosis, with no specific testing available aside from ruling out other conditions. Treatments span a variety of different medications and therapies, depending on the severity of CRPS. Typical signs of this condition include not only discomfort at the epidermal level, but also throbbing and swelling in the affected areas, as well as considerable joint stiffness and pain. If you have CRPS, mobility could become such a challenge that you become reluctant to walk or move around, resulting in atrophy of muscles. Other related problems could arise, such as dystonia, causing fingers or toes to become paralyzed in an abnormal and fixed position.

Early diagnosis and treatment are suggested for CRPS, so seek medical help as soon as possible if you are experiencing symptoms. This could be a condition that continues to progress and worsen over time for some and may even result in the need for antidepressants or therapy to help with adapting to such overwhelming physical changes and challenges.

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.

Careless Driving Continues to Be a Health Hazard

With record numbers of drivers licensed in the US today, most of us are hard pressed to find quiet roads to travel on; in fact, if you live in a bigger city, there could be millions commuting back and forth daily—with you joining them. Driving is a part of life for most adults, unless you are lucky enough to move to a tiny (and enviable!) community where you can walk and bike everywhere—or perhaps you have mastered the public transportation system, or prefer to Uber it most places. No matter what though, chances are you are in moving traffic each day.

Due to such repetition, driving can indeed become a rote activity. The temptation is there for many to become distracted as they worry about multi-tasking. What’s happened with that big work project? Where are the kids and what are they doing right now? Should we go out for dinner tonight or call in for pizza? Our time in traffic often allows for pensiveness—and that can lead many drivers to become engaged in intense communication not appropriate for the driving process.

Distracted drivers not only cause a multitude of car accidents daily but take thousands of lives each year. Even with countless campaigns against such activity like texting and driving (and the fact that it is illegal in Florida and most other states), not to mention cell phone use, the problem continues to grow—accompanied by a host of the same old issues too: speeding, driving under the influence, and other reckless behaviors. Recent news explains that even after adjusting statistics regarding accidents for increased numbers of vehicles on the road, crashes are continuing to increase.

Careless driving behavior has increased by staggering numbers:

  • Improper lane usage – increased by 50 percent.
  • Improper passing – increased by 47 percent.
  • Colliding with other cars traveling in same direction – increased by 40 percent.
  • Disregarding traffic signs and signals – increased by 34 percent.

“It’s an epidemic, frankly,” said Keyna Cory, coordinator for the Florida Don’t Text and Drive Coalition. Cory has no doubt that the sharp rise in accidents is the result of texting and cellphone use.

“As you drive down the road in South Florida, they’re driving in somebody else’s lane,” she said. “We all know young people do it, but I’m now seeing older people doing it as well.”

Just one wrong move by a negligent driver can cause fatalities, or catastrophic harm to include traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones, and much more—not to mention psychological trauma.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

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.

Hit and Run Accidents Continue to Increase

It is all too easy to forget about traffic dangers when we set out confidently to work each day (or sometimes just on autopilot), commuting back and forth—often in heavy traffic—and then driving to numerous destinations later in the day, whether to pick up children from activities, hit the grocery store, or swing by the pharmacy and pick up prescriptions. Statistics show traffic fatalities hitting staggering new highs though, and this includes pedestrian and bicyclist accidents and deaths too. When you get behind the wheel, you should always be wary of other drivers—and especially those who may be so distracted that they cannot keep their eyes on the road.

One small smartphone in the hands of a distracted driver can be the catalyst for a catastrophic accident; in fact, data from the CDC states that every day, around 9 drivers are killed in the US due to distracted driving—and over 1,000 are injured in car crashes. Although some may escape with minor injuries, car crashes can leave those involved suffering from traumatic brain injuries, serious spinal injuries, and sprains or broken bones that may even be responsible for triggering CRPS later.

Recent news shows that hit and run accidents are continuing to increase in the US too, showing a staggering 62 percent increase from 2009-2016, with 2049 people killed by hit and run in 2016.

“Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Information from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study also showed that 65 percent of the hit and run accidents involved those who were traveling on foot or bicycle. New Mexico, Louisiana, and Florida were the states responsible for the most deaths, and most hit and run accidents were shown to happen during late/early hours: from midnight to 4 a.m. (The study also showed that the least amount of hit and run accidents occurred in the states of New Hampshire, Maine, and Minnesota.)

“It is every driver’s legal and moral responsibility to take necessary precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist or another vehicle,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA State Relations Director.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others? Call our office for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We handle all types of Florida personal injury cases, and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been seriously injured, call us now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

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.

Broken Arm or Leg After Car Accident Could Be Precursor to CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome affects nearly 200,000 in the US, and as the name would imply, many of those suffering from the condition are forced to live with severe discomfort. A wide range of symptoms is associated with CRPS, and it can be hard to diagnose as well as treat. Patients are usually surprised at the onset of CRPS as it generally follows another—and often milder—health issue. It may be triggered by a trauma such as a car accident, where a common injury like a broken arm or leg was sustained. Both the nervous and immune system are affected, causing pain, along with:

  • Burning and redness
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Changes in the skin to include discoloration and difference in texture
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle spasms and abnormal movement to include tremors, jerking
  • Dystonia, leaving hands or feet fixed in a stiff position

The patient is usually unaware of CRPS in the beginning, and medical professionals may have to rule out a number of other health problems before settling on the CRPS diagnosis as there is no specific test for it yet. CTs, MRIs, and bone scans are often helpful in diagnostics. Once CRPS has been diagnosed, the patient may be put on a regimen of corticosteroids, pain relievers, topical anesthetic creams, or other medications. Along with that, physical therapy may be required.

CRPS can change an individual’s life significantly. While before they may have been active and healthy, the condition can cause them to fear being mobile due to resulting pain. They may also be in too much pain overall to live like they used too. With their quality of life suddenly seriously diminished, those suffering from CRPS may become depressed. Doctors may prescribe antidepressants as well as suggesting the help of a mental health professional or therapist on a regular basis to help them deal with the adjustment.

Type 1 CRPS can also be caused by surgeries, medical procedures (some of which may be extremely mild), and injuries to soft tissue that may be caused by burns or other accidents. The rarer Type 2 usually affects the nerves directly, with the cause being known (rather than occurring as a surprise or a bit of a mystery later) after an obvious injury.

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.

Older Drivers Must Act as Role Models for Younger Generations

As manufacturers continually work to add new safety measures to modern vehicles—many of which are almost completely computerized in terms of sensors and maintenance—and as traffic safety education is emphasized to the public, you would think that the risks involved in driving (or bicycling or motorcycling or walking!) would be much less today. Unfortunately, the same old reasons (and often deadly ones) are often cited for crashes: speeding and reckless behavior, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and ignoring traffic rules—along with ignoring stoplights and stop signs. This is disappointing, especially considering how much information is available to educate travelers today—along with the known consequences for such negligent behavior.

Children are usually fascinated with driving, and eager to get behind the wheel as soon as possible—usually in play, whether they have a tricycle or one of the child-sized play cars or SUVs that are so popular today. Because of that, it is important to discuss traffic safety with your kids from an early age. And as with so much in parenting, being a good role model can sometimes be difficult—but it is critical to passing on good driving skills later.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents in the US, and again, it can be difficult to avoid. With the plethora of smartphones and accompanying apps available—not to mention emails and calls dinging and ringing in—just one tiny electronic device that fits into your hand can be responsible for catastrophic damage on the road. You may preach ‘no texting and driving’ or extoll on the dangers of never taking your eyes off the road, but as children and teens get mixed messages on what is really happening in the car—they may very well choose the behavior that suits them best while driving—and that could mean practicing poor judgment, especially in heavy traffic.

Driving while drowsy, or much worse, while under the influence, is another very important area for leading by example. No-tolerance policies are best—and with that, it means skipping that tempting (but potentially dangerous) bottle of wine while out to dinner—and driving everyone home with a completely clear head. Road rage, speeding, and excessive multi-tasking should obviously be avoided, but as you become a parent you may see a few bad habits that have developed over the years being pointed out by the younger ones.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

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.