Some intensely painful injuries do not look very impressive; they do not leave any visible external marks such as bruises or cuts, and they may not even yield any abnormal findings on diagnostic images such as X-rays or ultrasounds. For example, a whiplash injury is a traumatic injury to the muscles of the neck and upper back, and it can cause chronic pain in the affected area, even though the patient’s X-rays look normal. Likewise, complex regional pain syndrome is an injury to one or more major nerves in an arm, leg, hand, or foot. It can also be very painful, although diagnostic images do not make it easy for doctors to see what is causing the pain. Car accident injuries are one of the major causes of complex regional pain syndrome. If you are suffering from chronic pain after injuries to one of your limbs or extremities in a car accident, contact a Santa Fe car accident lawyer.
Why Do Some Injuries Hurt More Than They Should?
Many patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) receive the diagnosis when an injury appears to have healed, but the pain in the affected body part persists or is even worse than it was at the time of the acute injury. CRPS is an injury to a nerve in or near the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, or ankle. The nerve damage is the result of a traumatic injury such as a fracture or sprain. It takes longer for nerves to heal than it does for bones or muscles, so the CRPS symptoms can last for months. Symptoms may include pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in the affected body part; the skin in the affected body part can also have a different color, texture, or temperature from the rest of the body as a result of the nerve damage.
Treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
CRPS eventually resolves as the cells in the affected nerve regenerate themselves, but it takes a long time. The focus of treatment is on managing symptoms and maintaining function in the affected part of the body. Therefore, doctors may recommend physical therapy. Most patients can manage their pain with over-the-counter medications, but prescription pain medications are indicated in severe cases. Doctors may prescribe steroids to reduce swelling. They might even prescribe nortriptyline or gabapentin, as these drugs have been effective in the treatment of other conditions involving neuropathic pain.
As painful as CRPS is, it usually does not require surgery or hospitalization. The cost of treatment for CRPS can still add up, though. A car accident lawyer can help you get an insurance settlement that will cover all of your accident-related medical bills.
Contact Slate Stern About Car Accident Lawsuits
Slate Stern is a car accident lawyer who represents plaintiffs and helps them get justice after being injured as a result of car, truck, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents. Contact Slate Stern in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or call (505)814-1517 to discuss your case.