Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: When Injuries Are More Serious Than They Appear

Chive Charities

Imagine that you're in a car accident. You walk away with only a hairline fracture in your arm. The injury seems straightforward, and sure enough it heals. After a few weeks, however, the pain in your arm gets worse, not better. It's so bad that it feels like your arm is on fire. Then the pain spreads – from your arm to your leg to your shoulder. It doesn't go away and soon affects your sleeping and even your breathing. When you finally receive a diagnosis, the doctors tell you there is no cure.

This is the situation faced by an incredible young woman named Gina Mercieri, whose story was recently featured by the Chive Charities. She was injured in a car accident in 2011, and for a year the pain in her body went undiagnosed. Finally, doctors identified the disease as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a rare condition so excruciating its nickname is "Suicide Disease."

CRPS is a chronic neurological disease that can take hold if injuries don't heal properly. If it's left undiagnosed or untreated, it can spread to the vascular system, affecting circulation to every part of the body, including major organs. People with CRPS often experience chronic disabling pain – in Gina's case, the severity of the pain often causes her to black out.

Gina's experience with CRPS is an example of just how devastating the aftermath of an accident can be. Stories like hers are especially meaningful to me because our firm has seen many clients in a similar situation – their lives have been forever changed by the injuries they've suffered. There's no way to erase what happened, but we do everything we can to get our clients' lives back on track.

I'm happy to report that Chive Charities did the same for Gina and raised over $60,000 in one hour for her. I encourage everyone to read more about her inspirational battle with CRPS on the Chive Charities Blog.