Appropriate Treatment for CRPS
Generally, most long-term disability insurance policies will require proof of appropriate treatment for your condition. This means that you will need to show that you are actively seeking medical treatment for your condition. This may be in the form of seeing specialists, such as a neurologist, or taking medications. Overall, this is so the insurance company sees that you are making a good-faith effort to improve your disability. While there is no cure for CRPS, there are different treatment methods that may help reduce your symptoms. In most cases, your insurance company will require you to show that you are receiving treatment throughout your time collecting benefits as well.
The earlier you seek treatment for your condition, the more likely that it will be effective in managing symptoms. If left unchecked, CRPS can advance to other parts of the body. In most cases, early treatment reduces this risk. Some treatments or medications for CRPS can lead to additional cognitive impairment. Be sure to discuss any additional symptoms you feel as a result of treatment. Document any and all symptoms you experience.
Always follow recommended treatment practices, or discuss with your doctor alternative options. Non-compliance with treatment or lack of appropriate care can be a reason for the insurance company to deny or end your benefits.
Medications for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
There are no medications specifically for CRPS, but many medications can help treat some of the common symptoms. Often, these will address pain, inflammation, and more. NSAID pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen are often recommended. While these are over-the-counter drugs, your doctor may prescribe higher dosages. In severe cases, opioid pain medications (morphine, oxycodone, etc.) may be prescribed.
Corticosteroids, like prednisone, can be helpful in treating inflammation and swelling. Anti-depressants and anti-seizure medications can be helpful in providing relief for neuropathic pain. Anti-depressants may be helpful in treating secondary emotional conditions as a result of your CRPS. Sympathetic nerve blockers are anesthetic injections for the nerves, which can block pain signals. This is only a temporary treatment, but it may be repeatable.
Additional Treatment Options
Physical therapy is often an important part of CRPS treatment. The primary function of physical therapy is to help facilitate movement. This helps increase overall blood flow, which can be vital to the healing process.
Neural stimulation treatments use electrical or magnetic currents to stimulate and reawaken the nerves. While often non-invasive, some forms of this treatment, such as those dealing directly with the spine, may require minor surgery.
Psychotherapy can be an important aspect of treating secondary emotional conditions, such as depression and anxiety. These conditions can often exacerbate other symptoms, so treatment can be important.
One surgical option for CRPS is a Sympathectomy. A Sympathectomy is a procedure where the surgeon will cut or clamp a section of the sympathetic nerve chain. This prevents nerve signals from traveling through that section. This is generally considered to be a “last resort” if medications are not enough to treat the condition. By preventing the affected nerve from sending signals to the brain, you reduce pain and other symptoms in the area.