Proving CRPS is tricky, as there is no set diagnosis process. As a result, many sufferers experience disbelief. To find out more, read our blog.
Chronic illnesses are real. These are the words often on the minds of patients who suffer with chronic pain, as they struggle to convince people that what they are feeling is not a figure of their imagination. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), is an extremely painful condition, which causes burning or throbbing pain in one of the limbs, sensitivity to touch or cold, changes in skin temperature, stiffness, weakness, decreased mobility and much more. As an invisible illness, CRPS sufferers are often discriminated against by those who are skeptical, which is something we know too well about; as CRPS solicitors, we see first-hand how much of a negative impact disbelief has on patients, lowering their self-esteem and making them feel as though they are doing wrong when they are doing the best they can each and every day.
The only real way to prove you have CRPS is through diagnosis, as there are no clear visible signs of the condition. As well as the symptoms caused, CRPS carries with it an additional pain of appearing ‘well’ or ‘normal’, despite how awful sufferers actually feel. The diagnosis process of CRPS as a whole is extremely complex, much like the condition itself. As it is extremely poorly understood, there is no set way to determine whether or not a person has CRPS. Instead, medical experts must first rule out conditions, which are known to cause similar symptoms. Once these conditions have been ruled out, only then can medical experts provide a final diagnosis.
When claiming for CRPS compensation, patients are required to provide proof that they have been diagnosed with the condition. This includes bringing doctors notes, as well as a formal and final diagnosis. As well as this, you will also be examined and a report will be prepared. The full consequences must be understood, as this could have a significant impact on the value of the claim. In order to prove that you suffer with the condition as a result of an accident or injury, evidence must be provided.
Aside from this, it’s extremely difficult to prove that you have CRPS. According to the NHS, a study claimed that up to 1 in 3,800 people in the UK develop CRPS each year, with women making up around 3 out of 4 cases. Although the average age for symptoms to begin is 50, the condition can develop at any age, which unfortunately means children can also suffer. No matter what age you are, if you have CRPS, it is likely that you will also experience discrimination and disbelief at least once, particularly if you are young. You will soon be fed up of hearing the words, “But you’re so young.” Someone who knows all too well about discrimination because of her condition is Nora, who developed a chronic illness at the age of 14. In this article, she explains how chronic pain affected her life as a teenager.
At the same time, however, there are people out there who understand your condition and what you are going through. There is a community of fellow sufferers out there who show support, love and understanding with one another. The online community proves to be a vital part of a sufferers’ life, providing them with an online platform to vent their frustrations and gain empathy from those who believe them.
Overall awareness of the condition is growing; many studies are taking place in order to better understand CRPS and its complexities and more people are becoming open to the idea that chronic pain is real and happening now – and rightly so! It adds to the stress of living in pain when you have to also try to convince the world of the pain you feel. However, it is important to always remember that there are understanding people out there and that you must always prioritise yourself and your own health. In this blog, find tips on how to remember to put yourself first and cope with disbelief.
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.