Houston Social Security
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Photo of David Dopkin
Photo of David Dopkin

Those with CRPS or RSD could qualify for disability

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2017 | blog

There are a host of serious medical conditions that can prevent you from continuing to work. In some cases, these conditions are psychological. Severe depression, personality disorders and even post-traumatic stress from a work accident or assault could leave you unable to work.

The creation of Social Security, particularly Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), stemmed from a need to ensure that those who work don’t end up in poverty if they become unable to work. Conditions that limit your ability to focus or your ability to finish tasks could qualify for SSDI.

Conditions that cause chronic pain and affect your strength and range of motion could also qualify for SSDI. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which also gets called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), causes a host of symptoms. For many people, once symptoms of CRPS develop, they will last for the rest of the sufferer’s life. Symptoms range from mild discomfort to extreme, intense pain and even loss of muscle and range of motion in the affected limb. That could very well prevent you from returning to work or obtaining a new job that offers decent pay for your labor.

CRPS/RSD can be difficult to diagnose

While some people may possess a genetic predisposition to developing CRPS, it is not a medical condition people are born with. Instead, it usually develops after trauma to a limb. Sometimes, blunt trauma that causes severe bruising or dislocation of a joint can cause CRPS symptoms to develop. The condition is most commonly associated with broken bones, surgery or immobility. Typically, broken bones heal rapidly. With proper medical intervention, your bone can heal straight and strong. Physical therapy can help ensure that you regain strength and range of motion after the injury has healed.

For those with CRPS, healing doesn’t mean the end of pain. In fact, CRPS may cause increasing or worsening pain in an affected limb or extremity, even as the bone itself is healing properly. That’s because CRPS is related to nerve damage. Considered a neuro-inflammatory disorder, CRPS is often associated with physical trauma. Your nerves begin to act up, sending constant pain signals to your brain. Many sufferers report the pain as a deep, aching, burning or cold.

Other symptoms include:

-Skin sensitivity to light touch, including clothing and showers

-Continued pain without direct source

-Swelling or inflammation of the affected area

-Discoloration of the skin

-Change in the texture or color of hair or nails in the area

-Change in skin temperature or unusual sweating only in affected area

-Limited range of motion

-Loss of strength

If you believe that you or someone you love may have CRSP, the first step to dealing with this condition is a diagnosis. It is often a difficult process, as the pain may not seem to have a specific origin. Not knowing why you’re hurting can make obtaining compensation more difficult

Many general practitioners are not familiar with this condition. Doctors consider the condition rare, as it impacts roughly 200,000 people in the United States in any given year. Once you get diagnosed, you can explore the potential for SSDI if your symptoms prevent you from working.