How to treat chronic pain was a topic addressed by several of the featured speakers at the WILG convention in Las Vegas this weekend. (WILG is a non-profit organization that assists attorneys in advocating the rights of injured workers.) Dr. Steven Simon, M.D. of the Kansas University Medical Group spoke about CRPS complex regional pain syndrome. He defined CRPS as an inciting event (usually trauma, but sometimes immobilization) to a a nerve that then moves into the spinal cord where it becomes a systemic chronic pain problem.
Dr. Simon stressed that the earlier the problem is diagnosed, the better the patent’s chances were for a successful treatment orientation. He acknowledged that many treating orthopedic physicians were not knowledgeable enough about treating chronic pain systems consisting of depression, anger, sleep deprivation, hormonal deprivation, and pain. When the patient doesn’t get better and the cause of the problem is not readily identified using traditional diagnostic methods, the adjuster likewise becomes frustrated and schedules an independent medical exam. That results in more delays in getting the injured worker to an appropriate physician to treat the CRPS. Many CRPS sufferers find that an attorney advocate is necessary to ensure proper treatment and a fair impairment evaluation.