Dealing With Reflex Sympathy Dystrophy After a Car Accident
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are experiencing chronic pain, you may be suffering from a serious condition known as reflex sympathy dystrophy (RSD). Understanding what the symptoms of RSD are and how this condition is diagnosed can help you in getting the appropriate medical treatment for your injuries.
What is Reflex Sympathy Dystrophy?
Reflex sympathy dystrophy, also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), is a neurological disorder that is characterized by chronic pain. The pain is typically localized in one of the arms, legs, hands or feet but it can affect different areas of the body at different times. Researchers have been unable to pinpoint a specific cause of RSD but it is believed that the condition can be triggered by accidental injuries, including injuries sustained as the result of a car accident.
Reflex Sympathy Dystrophy Symptoms
Reflex sympathy dystrophy is characterized by a number of specific symptoms, which may tend to worsen over time. In addition to chronic severe pain that is disproportional to the extent of the injury, patients with CRPS have reported experiencing excessive sweating, tissue swelling, extreme sensitivity to touch, changes in bone density and changes in skin texture, color or temperature. Patients who suffer from RSD may also experienced decreased mobility in affected limb.
The symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome are believed to occur in three stages. The first stage is generally characterized by severe pain, muscle spasms, joint stiffness and changes in skin color. The second stage sees an intensification of the pain, along with swelling, decreased hair growth, stiff joints and decreased muscle tone. Patients in stage three of CRPS will experience chronic severe pain that may spread to other areas of the body. This stage may also be characterized by extensive muscle atrophy, involuntary spasms and limited mobility.
Diagnosing Reflex Sympathy Dystrophy
There is no specific diagnostic test to determine whether a patient is suffering from RSD. If you begin to exhibit symptoms that you believe are indicative of complex regional pain syndrome following a car accident, it’s important that you seek the advice of a doctor as soon as possible to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
Living With RSD
Currently, there is no cure for RSD and no way to reverse its symptoms. Your doctor can, however, help you to devise a course of treatment that can make your symptoms more manageable and help you to sustain your quality of life. Patients with RSD may be treated through any combination of the following:
- Physical therapy
- Sympathetic nerve block
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Internal drug pumps
These treatments can help to alleviate your chronic pain and other symptoms so that you can continue to perform your day-to-day activities.
Legal Remedies for RSD Sufferers
If you were diagnosed with RSD/CRPS after being involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries if the other driver was at fault. Your first priority should be to contact an experienced reflex sympathy dystrophy attorney to discuss your legal rights.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing car accident victims who developed reflex sympathy dystrophy. For more information on filing an RSD injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658.