Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Lawyers Advocating for Those Injured in Wheaton and Schaumburg


Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is a nerve issue that typically follows injury or trauma. Workers throughout Cook County and beyond may suffer from RSD, leading to severe pain in their hands, arms, feet, or legs. The pain from RSD is generally intense and can make it challenging for victims to work. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is a method to secure benefits and compensation for those suffering from RSD due to a job-related injury. A skilled Wheaton and Schaumburg workers’ compensation lawyer at Therman Law Offices can help you understand how to prove the causal connection between your work and your medical condition. We represent injured workers throughout all stages of the claims process.


Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Causes and Symptoms


The symptoms of RSD include chronic and intense pain. The pain is disproportionately worse than the degree of injury, and tends to increase over time. Most often, pain is accompanied by a burning sensation, increased skin sensitivity, swelling and stiffness in joints, and changes in skin texture or color. Often, RSD follows a traumatic event to the extremities. Sprains, surgery, fractures, and damage to blood vessels or nerves can trigger RSD.


Diagnosing RSD includes assessing a person’s medical history and looking closely at their symptoms. Certain tests may help to rule out Lyme disease, and other conditions such as generalized muscle disease or a clotted vein. One feature of RSD is that there is typically an injury to the affected area.


Illinois Workers’ Compensation for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy


Workers need not suffer catastrophic injuries in order to develop RSD. Even minor pain or injury can lead to nerve issues and ongoing pain. If an original injury was work-related, then RSD stemming from this injury is a condition covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.


It is important for injured workers to understand the process of diagnosis and treatment of RSD, and to appreciate that the employer or their insurer may contest or fail to pay a claim for compensation. In some cases employers may hire a physician to perform an examination and make findings that lessen or diminish losses. The employer may hope that their physician determines the problem is not work related, or that lower physical restrictions be placed on the employee so that they can return to work.


Treatment for RSD is tailored to the needs of the injured worker. In many cases, physical therapy remains a primary part of treatment. Medication may be used, and surgery can reduce symptoms. A treatment plan must be individualized, and while there is no cure for RSD, patients can often alleviate some of their discomfort and pain. Neural stimulation can be delivered at locations along the pain pathway, near injured nerves and near the parts of the brain that control pain.


The type of benefits available for workers suffering from RSD depend upon the severity of the syndrome. As a condition that can greatly affect the ability of an employee to return to work post-injury, insurance companies recognize that these types of claims are typically expensive.


For example, workers suffering from RSD in one or both of their legs may be unable to stand for extended periods of time. If an arm or hand is affected, the employee may not be able to reach, pull, push or carry.


Workers’ compensation benefits include coverage for medical costs such as prescription medication, modifications to the home, and surgery. Temporary total disability can help cover missed work wages due to an inability to return to a pre-injury job. Temporary partial disability benefits are more appropriate if you do return to a job at a lighter level, with less exertion because you cannot perform your pre-injury tasks. Permanent and total incapacity benefits are usually awarded when your RSD affects two or more extremities.


Retain a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in the Wheaton and Schaumburg Area


Contact the lawyers at the Therman Law Offices for a free consultation regarding your case. We will help you secure compensation and benefits for your lost earning capacity, missed work wages, and future medical requirements. For more than 35 years of combined experience, our injury attorneys have assisted people throughout Schaumburg, Wheaton, and other areas including Carol Stream, Villa Park, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Addison, West Chicago, Westmont, Elmhurst, as well as Lemont and Oakbrook Terrace. Our office can be reached online or by calling 773-545-8849.



Chicago 773-839-8944
Wheaton & Schaumburg 847-744-8400

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