Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). Sometimes it is referred to as Chronic (or Complex) Regional Pain Syndrome. Either way, it can be a devastating pain condition for patients. I’ve written a couple articles discussing RSD and the disabling toll it has on people. You can read my prior posts here:
I read an interesting article last week in a work comp blog where the author asks the question: What’s Next for Pain — Pharma? The author then discusses available medications he believes could serve as alternatives to prescription opioids. Opioid abuse is a major issue nationwide.
The article’s author is an executive at a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) in the work comp industry. I started the article with a little bias and hesitation. If you work for a PBM, your main concern centers on prescriptions — reimbursement and cost. After suing a different PBM several years ago, I developed a healthy degree of skepticism as to whether drug payers are really interested in patients. I don’t say that to judge the author or his company.
I will say this author begins with the right issue. He points out that as opioid prescriptions decline, providers and payers have not embraced other treatment modalities. That is an important issue for injured people suffering chronic pain. We must address and treat hurting people. The author then discusses several alternative medication therapies. I represent many injured workers facing chronic pain. So, the discussion of alternative treatments peaked my interest.
I’ve worked with many clients who suffer what is often termed chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) following a personal injury. This condition is also sometimes called Reflex Sympathy Dystrophy (RSD).
Imagine suffering devastating pain that never ends. The victim suffers pain so severe, it leaves him or her disabled and barely able to function. On top of that, the victim cannot get good medical care. Sometimes, the person cannot even get straight answers from his or her physician. These patients don’t just hurt. They usually become depressed from the pain and frustrated by a medical system that does not help. Their families also suffer tremendously as well.
The medical issues with chronic pain are complex. Many medical professionals lack an understanding of chronic pain. People who suffer chronic neuropathic pain need dedicated medical specialists. This evening I came across a blog entry from another attorney that referenced a video explaining the condition. I clicked the link and watched the video. I decided to post it. It is a great discussion of chronic pain and its cause.