Lincoln Injury Blog

The causes and symptoms of CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS, is a condition with which many workers in the Lincoln, Nebraska area might not be familiar, unless, of course, they have suffered from it. CRPS is, however, a serious medical condition that affects one's arms and legs and that can be brought on by a workplace injury or other trauma to the body.

As the name implies, the primary symptom of CRPS is a burning or throbbing sensation radiating from a person's limbs. The sensation can be very painful and make it hard or even impossible to function normally. The affected area can also be highly sensitive to touch and may start to swell. Joints around the area may stiffen, and a person may start to feel weak or not be able to use that area of the body. Changes in the way the skin looks and feels may also be symptoms.

There are two basic types of CRPS. The first type, which around 9 out of 10 people with the condition have, is not accompanied by any physical damage to the nerves. The other type, which doctors can actually see, involves a definite injury to a person's nerves.

It is the first type that may be hard to prove in a workers' compensation claim because, in the absence of a concrete injury, it is hard to know how or why the CRPS condition developed. Experts attribute CRPS to a number of causes, including things like infections and heart attacks, which rarely have anything to do with work.

On the other hand, common industrial worker injuries, such as a crush trauma or even a sprained ankle at work, can give rise to CRPS, meaning that a worker who may have initially appeared to have a relatively minor injury may either not be able to return to work at all or have to take several months off.

A Nebraska worker who suffers from CRPS may have a good claim to receive workers' compensation benefits; however, such cases can be complex and difficult, so it may be best to have the assistance of an experienced Nebraska workers' compensation attorney.

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