The pain was unbearable after you were injured at work. As you began to recover, everyone told you it would get easier day by day… but the pain just never subsided. Your doctor prescribed medication to control your symptoms, but the pain kept coming even after the injury was nearly healed. Now, you’re back at home and expected to provide for yourself and your family, but how can you go back to work when getting out of bed is nearly impossible?
If this sounds familiar, you could be coping with a chronic pain condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). RSD, also called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), is a progressive disease of the nervous system that causes pain to increase as an injury heals.
What Is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy?
When you suffer an injury, the nerves around the injury site cause pain to alarm you of the damage. In people who have RSD, the nerve response does not shut off—and it may even spread throughout the body, causing a constant, burning pain. Some patients may experience inflammation, swelling in the arms and legs (edema), or rashes and discoloration of the skin.
Employees may be able to collect workers compensation for RSD that occurs as a result of:
- An on-the-job injury. Workers’ compensation should cover any secondary medical conditions that arise due to an on-the-job injury. If you have already collected workers’ comp benefits for your medical expenses and time off work, your case for RSD is compensable under the rules for chronic pain.
- Untreated workplace injuries. Some employees are pressured into not reporting their work injuries, causing them to suffer for weeks or years until the pain becomes unbearable. These cases can quickly become complex, as the worker must prove the cause of an injury that occurred a long time ago and also provide proof of a chronic pain diagnosis.
- Injury treatment. RSD can occur as a result of surgical treatment or improper healing of a work injury (such as a herniated disc).
- Aggravated injury. It is possible for your work actions to aggravate an underlying condition you may not have been aware of. You can get compensation if your daily work tasks caused a known or unknown medical condition to become worse.
Is It Difficult to Get Compensation for RSD?
As with many chronic pain conditions, it can be difficult to get compensation for an illness that many people do not understand. You will likely need to provide medical opinions and treatment records in order to get proper payment. Call us today at (888) 348-2616 to learn more about getting workers’ comp for chronic pain, or order our free accident guide, How to Avoid Becoming a Work Injury Horror Story.