By JONATHAN M. HICAP
MANILA, Philippines - Korean actor Shin Dong Wook has been discharged from the army after being afflicted with a rare neurological disease called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which is characterized by intense and chronic pain.
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Shin, 29, enlisted in the army in July last year; while there, he collapsed and was taken to the Armed Forces Capital Hospital where was diagnosed as suffering from the disease. He was unable to complete the two-year mandatory service due to the disease.
The actor’s agency said Shin might have acquired the disease due to trauma in the military service.
A representative of the actor said the pain can occur suddenly and can be severe.
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines CRPS as “a chronic pain condition that is believed to be the result of dysfunction in the central or peripheral nervous systems. Typical features include dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected limb or body part, accompanied by intense burning pain, skin sensitivity, sweating, and swelling.”
Symptoms of the disease are “burning" pain, increased skin sensitivity, changes in skin temperature: warmer or cooler compared to the opposite extremity, changes in skin color: often blotchy, purple, pale, or red, changes in skin texture: shiny and thin, and sometimes excessively sweaty, changes in nail and hair growth patterns, swelling and stiffness in affected joints and motor disability, with decreased ability to move the affected body part, according to NINDS.
The causes of the CRPS are mostly related to trauma.
“Many cases of complex regional pain syndrome occur after a forceful trauma to an arm or a leg, such as a crush injury, fracture or amputation. Other major and minor traumas — such as surgery, heart attacks, infections and even sprained ankles — also can lead to complex regional pain syndrome. Emotional stress may be a precipitating factor, as well,” according to Mayo Clinic online.
Shin is currently resting at home and is receiving outpatient treatment. His agency said despite that the actor was discharged from the military, there are no plans yet to resume Shin’s career in the entertainment business.
Shin has appeared in many Korean dramas including “Stars Falling From the Sky,” “On Air,” “Money’s Warfare,” “Cloud Stairs,” “Soulmate,” “Lottery Trio” and “Hong Kong Express.”