CRPS, or complex regional pain syndrome, is a form of chronic pain that usually affects one of the arms or legs. In most cases, CRPS results from an injury, surgery, stroke or heart attack. It is painful beyond what is justified by the initial injury.
The cause of CRPS is unclear, and it is uncommon. Early intervention is the key to treatment success. Improvement and even remission are possible in such cases. Inflammation or nerve dysfunction may be responsible for complex regional pain syndrome, though its exact cause is unknown.
The complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), sometimes known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, is a chronic pain condition in which excessive levels of nerve impulses are sent to an affected area. CRPS occurs when the central or peripheral nervous systems malfunction, according to experts.
Symptoms of CRPS
The severity and length of symptoms of CRPS vary. One symptom of CRPS is continuous, intense pain that gets worse rather than better over time. After a serious injury, CRPS may appear to be out of proportion to the severity of the injury. The pain can spread in cases of finger or toe injuries, even to the whole arm or leg. Some people even report pain traveling to their opposite extremity. Other symptoms of CRPS include severe pain, sensitivity to touch or cold, swelling and stiffness in the joints and decreased movement of the body part affected by CRPS.
Changes to the skin often occur. A person with CRPS may feel warmer or cooler on one extremity than the other. A person may develop blotchiness, paleness, purpleness or redness of the skin. Also, the skin’s texture can change, becoming shiny and thin. People who have CRPS may experience excessive sweating.
Treatment for CRPS
Medicines, heat or cold therapy, physical therapy and biofeedback are generally used to treat the condition.Acupuncture is a holistic option. Medications include antihypertensive drugs, nerve pain medications, muscle relaxants, sedatives, local anesthetics and narcotic pain medications. A longer-term relief option is a medical procedure called a nerve block.
If you are suffering from chronic pain, reach out to Hanowell Spine Clinic for expert care and solutions.