RSD/CRPS is a very painful condition and initially patients may not full understand many of the unique physical changes that may occur to their body.
The causes of electrical shock pain are things such as, the slamming of a door, being startled by someone, a sudden loud noise, the tv or music being too loud, or the vibration from riding in the car.
“To me, the electrical zapping feels like being electrocuted. It strikes like lightning and the pain it causes will usually last a few hours. If the noise is loud enough, I will be in pain for a few hours or sometimes days.” Personal Experience
The type of pain, described above by a patient is the classic “Causalgic pain”. The word Causalgia was first coined by Doctor S.W. Mitchell, the first physician who reported the existence of RSD. This type of pain is caused by practically and electric shock short between adjacent damaged nerve fibers.
The normal nerve fibers are insulated with a fatty sheath called “myelin”. If an injury (usually minor, occasionally due to sharp objects, or even bullets) causes damage to the adjacent nerve fibers, the insulating sheath is damaged resulting in the electrical current in the nerve fiber (which works as an electrical wire conducting messages) to spread to the adjacent damaged nerve fibers and to irritate the adjacent nerve fibers. Eventually, the cumulative effect of the multiple areas of nerve damage and irritation results in a sudden electrical discharge strong enough to stimulate an electric shock type of pain sensation. At times, it is so severe that the arrival of such an electric shock to the spinal cord causes an extremely transient shock to the nerves that are responsible for the posture and balance, and as a result, the patient has a tendency to either completely or partially fall to the ground.
This symptom, like any other symptom of RSD, becomes more severe and more prominent due to aggravation of the disease by inflammation and edema. The electric shock type of pain and falling attacks are normally seen in late (3rd and 4th) stages of RSD/CRPS called CRPS II
This exemplifies the damage to sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which is one of the 3 parts of the autonomic nervous system (that regulate heart rate, digestion, respiration rate, salivation, perspiration), along with the enteric and parasympathetic systems. The SNS’s general action is to mobilize our body’s resources under stress – to trigger the flight-or-fight response. If we find ourselves in danger, for example, if a huge drunken man walks in your direction in a dark street at night, your sympathetic nervous system will start to accelerate your heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, as well as the level of certain hormones (adrenalin) – you are being prepared for a sudden, short-term release of energy, so that you can either fight better or run away faster (flight-or-fight response).
Some people believe that a physical injury, for example, may cause the SNS to release Catecholamines , which are ‘fight-or-flight’ hormones. Due to an unknown underlying problem, catecholamines are thought to activate pain receptors, the nerve endings, which send pain signals to the brain causing you to feel pain. They say that is why the post-injury pain experienced by RSD/CRPS patients is much greater than one would expect from that injury.
In other words, it is not the injury that causes the intense pain, but rather the way the body has responded to it.The sympathetic nervous system has other functions too, such as regulating the blood vessels of the skin. A sympathetic nervous system malfunction might result in changes of skin color and temperature; one of the signs linked to CRPS.
Belt Law Firm, P.C., is an Alabama law firm with extensive national experience in representing RSD/CRPS afflicted persons and handling RSD/CRPS cases with a focus on regional litigation in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Delaware. To learn more, call the firm toll-free at 205-933-1500 or use its online form.
The personal injury attorneys at Belt Law Firm have successfully represented RSD/CRPS clients in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. These cases involved injuries from automobile accidents (shoulder injury, ankle fracture), product malfunctions (hand crush, wrist fracture), slip and falls (knee contusion, wrist fracture), poorly performed blood draws (antecubital pain), and crush injuries (ankle, Achilles tendon).
Among the settlements we have achieved in RSD/CRPS cases are: $2,500,000 for a (AL) slip and fall case involving a woman who developed RSD after suffering a broken wrist, $1,300,000 for a (FL) case where a woman developed RSD after an improperly performed blood draw, and $800,000 for a (TN) woman who developed RSD after suffering a bruised knee due to a slip and fall in a grocery store. ...Read More