Common Symptoms of CRPS: Understanding Allodynia

Complex regional pain syndrome affects around 200,000 known patients in the US, but it often takes a significant amount of time to diagnose this unique condition centered around central nervous system damage. Unfortunately, symptoms—and the pain—can be chronic and severe, causing those who suffer from CRPS to make substantial adjustments to their lives. Symptoms often begin in a limb that was affected by a previous injury.  In many cases, the CRPS patient may have been in a car accident that caused trauma such as a broken arm or leg, or just a sprain. In more moderate cases, there may have just been bruising. Because so often the original injury has already healed and come and gone, individuals who suddenly find themselves suffering from CRPS are painfully surprised.

There are numerous unique and painful issues which may arise, such as allodynia. This fibromyalgic pain is not just restricted to CRPS; in fact, it may be seen in other conditions such as shingles and chronic fatigue syndrome—all related to central nervous system complications. Nerves become overly sensitive, and this may be so severe in topical areas such as the skin that the patient cannot tolerate any contact at all. To put the pain in perspective for those not familiar with what CRPS feels like, imagine being in severe discomfort just because your arm or leg was exposed to a slight breeze! Allodynia is also commonly caused by touch, as well as friction from clothing that is usually not uncomfortable. Mild temperature changes may also cause pain.

Burning and other issues with the skin may cause initial discomfort with CRPS also, to include discoloration, swelling, and even unusual hair growth. Skin may appear glossy in texture, and sensitivity may be so severe that the patient cannot tolerate any contact of any sort in that area—not even that of a slight breeze. Joints may ache, and using muscles surrounding the area of the affected limb can often be so agonizing that the patient becomes reluctant to use them, resulting in atrophy.

Painkillers that can be applied directly to the skin may be recommended for relief, to include Lidocaine or over-the-counter creams. For other symptoms, doctors may prescribe OTC pain relievers as well as opioids, corticosteroids, nerve-blockers, 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.

Central Nervous System Damage May Cause CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome is a condition that may plague patients long-term with a variety of unique and uncomfortable symptoms. Many are centered around the skin in terms of more topical discomfort like sensitivity to touch (and this may be even the slightest bit of contact—or even as extreme as exposure to a light breeze), discoloration, swelling, and more. And while that may seem intolerable enough, pain can be chronic and extreme too, affecting the joints and muscles and even making it difficult to move around.

While CRPS can be confounding in many ways, affecting around 200,000 people in the US, experts consider it to be caused by damage to the central nervous system, with Type 1 often being caused by a trauma like a car accident (with gray area in regards to ‘direct nerve damage’) or in some cases even a minor medical procedure like a blood draw, and Type 2 being related to known central nerve damage in cases such as a surgery or other defining event. For some patients, the condition may be self-limiting but for others it could last indefinitely and cause significant issues; in fact, the pain may sometimes be so terrible that those afflicted with CRPS dread trying to walk simply because of the agony they associate with movement.

Patients may experience moderate to severe pain in Type 1 or Type 2, but diagnosis of the rare condition is not always easy at first as other diseases (such as Lyme) must be ruled out first. There is no actual test for CRPS, and it could take months or even years to diagnose, unfortunately. Treatment usually includes pain relievers first, although they could be as simple as over-the-counter medications. If OTC pain relievers do not work or if the CRPS pain is too severe from the outset, doctors may prescribe a variety of other treatments to include opioids, steroids like prednisone, nerve-blockers, and even antidepressants or anticonvulsants. Therapies may be in order too, including conventional physical therapy for muscles that may be painful or even beginning to atrophy, along with more alternative treatments like biofeedback.

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.

Motorcyclists: Don’t Be Distracted Drivers!

With over eight million motorcycles registered in the US and an enthusiastic population of riders that just keeps growing, safety is more important than ever—and especially as traffic incidents continue to rise in the US. There is a long list of benefits associated with riding motorcycles; for instance, nearly every ride you take gives you a core workout, plus requires you to use arm and leg muscles, strengthening them all further nearly every time you go out. Fellowship between other riders is enjoyed on highways around the country, and many motorcyclists are the envy of others as they dream of riding in the fresh air and beautiful landscapes.

Avoiding accidents is central to riding a motorcycle, with other motorists being the greatest threat; however, it is also up to you to drive defensively and watch out for the safety of others too by making sure that you are following traffic rules—and first on that list is avoiding distractions. While motorists are under heavy fire for distracted driving (and with good reason, as it is the number one reason that accidents and fatalities happen), that doesn’t mean that others aren’t suffering from the same temptation, even to include pedestrians and bicyclists.

It is not uncommon for a motorcyclist to feel like they have everything under control and can handle answering a call at a red light or glancing down at their phone to check a text message while traveling with the flow of traffic. Because a traffic accident can happen within the blink of an eye—and because motorcyclists are so much more vulnerable due to their comparative lack of protection—distracted driving while on a motorcycle can lead to catastrophe. The trend continues with others, with government officials and infrastructure specialists who are concerned about rising fatalities in pedestrians and bicyclists too noting that a percentage of these instances occur as people are not focusing on the road but rather on smartphones, or are walking or bicycling with their heads down as they read—increasing their chances of being struck and hurt or even killed. Motorcycle accidents often result in injuries such as road rash, broken arms and legs, spinal problems, traumatic brain injuries, burns, cuts and contusions, and more.

See more on motorcycle topics in recent blogs regarding what to do after a collision with a car, defensive driving, and more. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, 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.

Insta-Pot Cookers Are Handy – But Are They Dangerous to You and Your Family?

As the holidays and all the gifts and exchanges associated with the season end, you may still be figuring out some of the new gadgets you either received or gifted yourself and your whole family with. Instant pressure cookers are one of the latest electronic gadgets taking kitchens by storm around the US—but for some that may be all too literal in the case of safety hazards posed by specific items like the Insta-pot.

Pressure cookers have come a long way since the ones your parents and grandparents enjoyed (or the first ones invented hundreds of years ago). Today, whether you are hoping to cook tasty black beans in less than an hour, make a lovely no-fat, vanilla yogurt, brew up some red wine, or brown and prepare meat along with making a tasty broth on the side, you can do it all in one small countertop source. Some products even tout the ability for consumers to be able to cook an entire holiday meal. It is no secret, however, that electric pressure cookers can pose significant dangers due not only to extreme heat, but also the potential for explosion. This is also the case with stovetop pressure cookers and any other similar appliances operating via a sealed apparatus and lots of exceptionally hot steam building inside.

Locking mechanisms on Insta-pots and similar machines may be defective, seals may not work properly, a machine’s design may be defective and cause hazardous overheating (resulting in previous or eventual recalls), or instructions for use may be unclear, leaving consumers to discover the riskier side of pressure cooking on their own, which could be even more dangerous if small children are in the kitchen when a problem occurs.

Scalding ingredients spraying from an Insta-pot or exploding in the kitchen can lead to major harm from defective products, and especially from ingredients like hot liquids if you are making a home-made soup or chili. First, second, or third-degree burns may occur and require a long-term healing process, hospitalization, and even skin grafts and other types of complex procedures. Emotional trauma can be severe for those affected by pressure cooker malfunctions too, leaving them fearful of being in the kitchen or even the home where the explosion and resulting injuries happened.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to a defective Insta-pot or another product, contact Heintz & Becker today. 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.

Safety on the Road: Understanding Basic Bicycle Maintenance

Bicycling in Florida (and all around the world) can be enjoyed on so many different levels. You may appreciate riding your bike to work as an economical means of transportation, not to mention a more rapid one in areas with traffic congestion. Your children might ride their bikes to school in the mornings, and home in the afternoons, and you may enjoy riding as a group during your leisure time on weekends—or luxuriate in solitary day trips throughout the state of Florida, where there are plenty of places to enjoy traveling on two wheels while also taking in nature and even some wildlife here and there.

No matter how old you are, it is vital to take the proper safety precautions. You should be dressed in bright colors, add as many additional lights and reflective devices as possible, and ride defensively. While everyone should take advantage of helmets and other protective gear, this is especially important for children, to avoid concussions and traumatic brain injury. Broken bones, soft tissue damage, and cuts and contusions are common too—for anyone involved in a bicycle accident. Issues often arise due to negligence on the part of distracted motorists who may collide with bikes, rear-end them, or hit them head on when turning at intersections.

And while safety in traffic is a priority, maintenance for your bike (just as for a car or any other type of vehicle) should be too so that you are not left high and dry while away from home. Again, in most situations, bicycles are the most economical route to go for ‘vehicle’ maintenance, but make sure to do a thorough onceover periodically, checking:

  • Tire pressure – Don’t be caught with a flat! Your tires should indicate which pressure is necessary. Don’t forget to keep a patch kit on hand either for a quick fix on the road.
  • Brakes – This is one of the most important components of the bike. Check brakes regularly, and especially if they are squeaking or you suspect adjustments or tightening could be necessary.
  • Bicycle chain – Make sure it is properly lubricated and in good working order so that gears shift smoothly.
  • Hardware – Check all nuts and bolts and tighten them when necessary.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a bicycle accident injury caused by the negligence of others contact Heintz & Becker today. 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.

 

Take Note of Your Surroundings After a Motorcycle Crash

No one likes to look at the dark side of an activity that can be so much fun—as well as rewarding. Riding a motorcycle allows you to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors while in forward motion to a destination—as well as a sense of connection with other likeminded spirits on the road. Riding a motorcycle can also lead to a great workout every time you get on your bike, requiring a surprising amount of core and leg strength that increases with every trip down the highway. This mode of transportation is also often much more economical, with less start-up cost in buying a motorcycle, cheaper gas, cheaper maintenance, and greater ease in maneuvering through traffic during that daily commute.

Safety is a major consideration though, and no matter how defensively you drive, you may still find yourself in an accident due to the negligence of a motorist. While car crashes can lead to a wide range of serious injuries for drivers and passengers, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable as they lack the protection of the weight and steel frame of a car or truck. In Florida, you are in even more danger as it is ranked one of the highest states for motorcyclist fatalities, opening up the potential for serious wounds such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken arms and legs, and road rash—with head on collisions being most common. And although you may never have to use such information, you should definitely be aware of what to do right after an accident.

Assess injuries first. Are you okay? If so, check on the other parties involved in the accident and call for help if necessary. If you can move your motorcycle out of the path of traffic, do so, along with taking pictures of all the damage. This is where the smartphone comes in very handy. Take pictures of everything possible at the scene of the crash, including license plates of all vehicles involved, damage from all sides, the highway area, traffic signs and traffic lights, intersections, road signs, and anything that may be of help to your case later.

See more on motorcycle topics in recent blogs regarding what to do after a collision with a car, defensive driving, and more. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, 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.

My Arm is Tingling and Numb After a Blood Draw—Could This Be CRPS?

Complex regional pain syndrome is more aptly named than many conditions. It can be very complex, and it does center around pain, which can be chronic and extreme in some cases, leading patients to be debilitated after what may have been a minor injury or procedure; in fact, car accidents are a common type of trauma that can lead to Type 1 CRPS. Symptoms usually arrive out of the blue and surprise patients who thought that they had healed from a fracture or a sprain yet suddenly are forced to deal with pain and complications in the area of the limb previously affected.

Type 2 CRPS is usually caused by direct injury to a nerve, and even minor medical procedures such as shots or blood draws have been known to bring it on. Symptoms may begin with discomfort in the skin. It may be extremely sensitive to the touch, as well as discolored (whether red, pinkish, or even with tinges of blue) or glossy in appearance and swollen. Tingling sensations are common symptoms, along with shooting pains in the affected limb. While the onset may have been caused by something seemingly minor, CRPS can develop into a nightmarish and long-term condition that is both chronic and progressive. Pain may be so bad that patients become afraid to move around, causing a vicious cycle with muscle atrophy.

Joint pain and painful muscle spasms may affect the patient, along with dystonia—a condition affecting fingers and toes that become fixed in a twisted or abnormal position, causing even more discomfort and self-consciousness in terms of walking and getting around or going out in public. CRPS can be hard to diagnose though as there is no specific test for this rare condition affecting only 200,000 individuals in the US. Once other diseases such as Lyme disease have been ruled out, doctors are able to confirm whether a patient is suffering from CRPS or not.

Early treatment is recommended for a better outcome, and physical therapy may play a major role in recovery too, along with more alternative applications. Effective medications for CRPS vary from mild over-the-counter pain relievers to more serious treatments like anticonvulsants, antidepressants, opioids, 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.

After the Car Crash: Be Careful What You Say!

We know so much more today in the US than we did decades ago regarding the importance of safety—and we have so many progressive mechanisms available to prevent injury in the case of a car accident, not to mention so much more information available to the public on how to avoid crashes. Still, traffic incidents continue to rise, and issues like distracted driving continue to be a major problem—taking thousands of lives each year tragically, and needlessly. Motorists who can’t resist the temptation to use their smartphones while traveling are a problem of epic proportions on the roads, but drunk and reckless drivers still cause many crashes too.

If you are in a serious car wreck, you may be owed damages from the negligent party, but it is very important to protect your case from the beginning. This begins with being very careful about what you say. Being educated on what to do before such an incident occurs is extremely helpful, as you may be shaken after a collision with another vehicle. Take time to catch your breath and regain your composure, along with assessing whether you have any injuries. Upon speaking with the other party, as well as police or medical professionals, remember that there is the possibility anything you say could be used against you later; for instance, the other driver may have been negligent, but if you apologize or indicate in any way that you could have done something to prevent the accident (even when it was clearly not your fault!), such statements could have negative repercussions on your case.

Speak only to the police as they are there compiling the accident report, giving them only the basic facts about the case. You will be required to exchange contact and insurance information with the other motorist but keep any communication to a minimum. Your best bet is to contact an experienced injury attorney from a firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible. And while it is important to consider your words and actions very carefully directly after an accident that may develop into an injury case, also make sure to speak to any witnesses who may be on the scene and collect their contact information too. That will most likely be the only chance you have to speak with them—and their account of what happened could be extremely important for you later.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, 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.

CRPS is Chronic and Progressive in Many Cases

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) affects a relatively small number of people in the US, with up to around 200,000 cases currently known. If you or a loved one are affected by this condition, then statistics probably mean very little to you or offer much comfort—especially if debilitating pain and suffering are involved.

CRPS can be a confounding condition. It is usually brought on by a trauma like a car accident or a motorcycle crash, and is separated into two different types, with the first usually triggered after a health issue has healed from a car accident, medical procedure, or other injury—and often a mild one. This type of CRPS is often a major—and unwelcome—surprise; in fact, if this is the case for you, there may have just been a sense of relief over getting over a sprain or a break, only to have CRPS rear its ugly head seemingly out of nowhere. The second type of CRPS is usually triggered after direct harm to a nerve occurs. This could happen during a surgery or some other event where it was obvious right away that a nerve had been damaged and CRPS was the result.

While some forms of CRPS can be mild, this condition is known to be chronic and usually affects an arm or leg, or hands and feet. In most cases, symptoms begin with discomfort and burning around the limb that was hurt, and because the immune system is affected along with the central nervous system, there may be redness and swelling, along with extreme sensitivity to touch. Early diagnosis and treatment usually result in a better outcome, but diagnosis can be challenging until all other diseases have been ruled out. Medication may include over-the-counter pain relievers or much stronger regimens, including opioids, nerve blockers, and even anticonvulsants or antidepressants.

CRPS may worsen over time, and muscles may even begin to atrophy. While some patients may experience loss of mobility, others may become reluctant to move around, fearing the pain involved in getting up or walking around. Dystonia is another example of the progression of CRPS, with fingers or toes sometimes becoming fixed in an abnormal or twisted position. This may affect just one area or a group of muscles.

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.

 

Men Are More Likely to Be Involved in Motorcycle Accidents

The population of motorcyclists in the US continues to rise steadily, and according to a recent study, motorcycles registered doubled from 2002 to 2017, with the largest numbers licensed in both Florida and California. More women (and many who are younger than the typical demographic for men) are purchasing bikes these days too, enjoying all the same benefits that men do such as increased physical strength, a sense of camaraderie, and the excitement of being on the open road.

Men are still more likely to be in a motorcycle accident though, and especially if they are 50 years old or over. And while it may not be that surprising a statistic considering men are stereotypically considered to be a predominant force in motorcycling, a whopping 91 percent of fatalities in 2015 were men. Those over the age of 50 may not be as strong as their younger male motorcyclist counterparts, unfortunately, leading to more deaths—but realistically, anyone endeavoring to ride a motorcycle needs to possess considerable strength even for the easiest of rides. Major core strength is needed from the beginning, as well as substantial arm and leg strength.

Often, serious accidents from the older demographic also result due to motorcyclists over the age of 50 hoping to pick up where they left off many years ago in riding the highways on two wheels. Physical strength can vary in different ways after so many years, and many motorcyclists may not take that into account. Riders may have been away from their hobby (or preferred mode of transportation) for so long that they forget how much of a physical challenge can be involved, not to mention how much time it can take to adapt to a new bike and time out on the open road. And while fatalities are a reality, motorcycle crash injuries can lead to long-term repercussions, including spinal injuries, neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, serious arm, leg, or facial fractures, and even amputations.

If you were in a motorcycle accident, you may not only find yourself having to get used to dealing with minor or major physical and emotional injuries, but you may not be able to go back to work either temporarily or even permanently. This can be devastating to your finances, and you may be owed substantial compensation if you were hurt 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.