Complex regional pain syndrome is diagnosed in people of all ages, although it its most common in middle aged women. While the severity of CRPS is very individual, the syndrome can have a significant impact on the lives of those who are diagnosed. It can even lead to a lasting disability if not treated quickly.
Not being able to do many of the tasks you could previously is common with advanced CRPS. If you have been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, it can even be very difficult, if not impossible, to work. When you cannot work, it places financial stress on you and your family. There are five ways that CRPS can prevent you from being able to carry out your job effectively. These include:
Oftentimes, the first sign of CRPS is severe, continuous pain. This is often described as a burning or stabbing pain. It can affect a joint, a part of a limb, or the entire limb. This pain can be so severe that is makes it difficult to function, much less use the affected hand, foot, arm or leg.
Not only does the pain limit mobility in the affected limb, there can also be coordination issues that limit the use of that limb. It may be harder to move than usual, or you may witness abnormal movement. This can include a fixed posture or tremors, and can vary widely in severity based on the individual.
In many cases, the limb that is affected by the CRPS becomes overly sensitive to the world around it. Even a slight bump or walking into a cold room can bring on more severe pain. This can make it difficult to work if you have an active job, or one that requires close contact with others.
When muscles aren’t used, they begin to waste away. This is known as muscle atrophy. If moving causes severe pain, people will often avoid moving. When you stop using the muscles in an affected limb as regularly as you did before the CRPS, you will lose strength in those muscles.
Much like atrophy, the muscles in an affected limb can also tighten from lack of use. This means that the fingers, toes, hand or foot will be contracted into a tight, fixed position and will not function normally.
As you can see from this list, CRPS can cause a significant disability in those who are affected. The joints stiffen, the bones can contort, and it becomes harder and harder to use the limb that is affected. If the syndrome can be detected and treated early, these changes don’t have to become permanent. If it is not diagnosed early, significant, permanent disabilities can occur.
If you are no longer able to work, due to your CRPS symptoms, there is hope. You may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. A Tacoma disability attorney can help you get the payments you need to ensure your family can continue to pay their bills, despite your illness. Contact a Tacoma disability attorney today to find out more.