What Is RSDS Injury And Can You Get Workers Compensation Benefits It?

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), also known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare condition that affects the sympathetic nerve system (SNS). The SNS is the part of your nerve system that activates the fight or flight response when it senses a threat to the body. The fight or flight response triggers several bodily functions such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and constriction of blood vessels.

Unfortunately, if you have RSDS, the fight and flight responses may be triggered in excessive amounts even when there is no perceived threat. The result is one of the most intense pains that you can ever feel in this world.

What Causes RSDS?

It isn't known exactly what causes RSDS. One prominent theory is that nerve damage is the main trigger of RSDS. When the SNS is damaged, for example in a physical injury, it triggers the abnormal and excessive fight or flight responses that cause the pain associated with RSDS. There are various forms of accidents in the workplace that may cause nerve damage. Examples include burn injuries (due to high temperatures or chemicals), physical trauma, and infections, among others.

What Are the Symptoms of the Disease?

You should suspect that you are dealing with RSDS if you have these symptoms:

  • Stiffness
  • Discomfort
  • Burning sensation
  • Extreme sensitivity
  • Swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Weakness

The condition commonly strikes the limbs. You may only exhibit some of the symptoms of the diseases, and others may come and go. Therefore, don't make a self-diagnosis, but consult your doctor for a professional diagnosis and help.

How is the RSDS Treated?

Treatment for RSDS is long and complicated. In fact, continued use of the affected part of the body is the main part of treatment, with additional inputs (such as the use of drugs and physical therapy) just needed to help you use the affected limb. Counseling and the use of narcotics for pain management may also be advisable.

Can You Get Workers Compensation for RSDS?

You can get worker's compensation benefits for any injury as long as you can prove that you were injured on the job. You will get the usual benefits that injured workers get, such as wage replacement, rehabilitation, and medical benefits.

Unfortunately, workers compensation benefits aren't available for pain and suffering.  At the same time, conventional medicine hasn't proven adequate at dealing with RSDS. This means you will be feeling a lot of pain, but not getting any compensation for it. This underscores the need to present a strong claim to maximize the worker's compensation benefits.

Consult a workers compensation lawyer in your area to prove that you have the condition and help you maximize your benefits. The lawyer can also help you analyze if you can seek other forms of remedy other than workers compensation benefits. For example, you may pursue a personal injury claim against your employer if you can prove that they intentionally caused the injury that led to your RSDS.