Understanding Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

By | April 16, 2022

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), sometimes referred to as a reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), is a condition of chronic pain that causes too intense pain, often accompanied by swelling, changes in skin, texture, or other symptoms. Usually, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) affects the extremities, such as arms, hands, feet, or legs, but can affect any body parts.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) specific causes are currently unknown because they can appear spontaneously. In most cases, this condition manifests after a soft tissue injury ranging from sprains, fractures, or operations. The main aspect of CRPS is to cause disproportional pain responses with injury or sensory stimuli. For example, an incision can be an insatiable level of illegal pain during recovery, or non-painful stimuli such as light touch to the skin can cause extreme pain in patients.

There is no testing method set for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and because of the properties of broad symptoms, often misdiagnosed. The researchers believe that CRPS is caused by dysfunction in the central or peripheral nervous system which creates excessive signals for pain.

There is no cure for CRPS today, and care comes in various forms. Conditions can subside or deteriorate from time to time.

Who Does It Affect:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome treatments


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a rare disorder that is expected to affect 200,000 patients every year in the United States. It’s 3 to 4 times more common in women than men. Even though it can happen to anyone at any age, it is rare among children and adolescents. According to the national organization of rare disorders, the most common CRPS among adults (37 to 90) with European ancestors.

Symptoms of CRPS:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome symptoms are general and display themselves in various severity or length. One clear symptom of CRPS is a continuous pain that intensifies, instead of reducing, over time. CRPS is usually localized to one region, although it is known to emit outside the early area. Symptoms often begin to appear around 4 to 6 weeks after injury, fracture, or surgery.

CRPS signs and symptoms often include:

  • Continuous pain and increasing over time.
  • Disproportional pain with an injury.
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch.
  • “Burn” sensation.
  • Skin swelling.
  • Motor function control decreases, joint stiffness, and other mobility disorders.
  • Changes in skin temperature. The skin in the influenced limb feels warmer or cooler than other body areas.
  • Skin color change; Lime, turquoise, bruising.
  • Changes in the skin texture; Shiny or sweaty texture.
  • Changes in nail and hair growth. Hair growth and nails can be extreme or stop suddenly.

Available Treatments:

Care for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome new treatments for CRPS in several forms, and because there is no cure, pain management is a priority. General Therapy includes a broad spectrum of solutions, ranging from psychotherapy, pain patches, physical therapy, and treatment of prescription drugs that utilize topical analgesics, narcotics, corticosteroids, osteoporosis drugs, and antiseizure drugs. Another recommended pain reliefs are chiropractic care, try chiropractic treatment here.

Management of pain and assistance is the most important for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) patients, and oral pharmacological solutions can often reduce or control pain, while patients explore additional therapy such as physical therapy to reduce discomfort. Oral medicines are often the most invasive pain management method but must also be closely monitored so as not to be misused.

Other methods include psychotherapy to help patients with their emotional state and develop healthier practices. In addition, non-traditional methods such as acupuncture, hypnosis, reiki, and chiropractic procedures have shown promise for some CRPS patients.

Another approach is to target nerves directly. The Spero Clinic, a chronic pain treatment center, has developed a vagus nerve stimulation therapy that depends on various non-invasive techniques to relieve or eliminate Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

A more invasive nerve-focused approach includes:

Sympathetic nerve block: These blocks can relieve significant pain for some patients. One technique is injecting anesthesia next to the spine, directly blocking or disrupting the pain signal from reaching the brain.

Intrathecal medicine pump: this method uses an implanted catheter to provide painkillers directly into the spinal fluid.

Spinal cord stimulation: the pulse generator is embedded under your skin in the abdomen or buttocks the area, and the electrodes are placed near the spinal cord. The device sends a low-level electric current to the spinal cord and stimulates the nerve when the pain feels. This electric pulse disrupts the pain signal sent to the brain and can interfere. Because of the very invasive nature of this treatment, it is usually only used in extreme cases and when other methods fail.

Live with CRPS:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) can be in the form of weakening conditions that interfere with your daily life. Diagnose conditions from an early age and consult your doctor during the initial stage CRPS often produces the highest chance of full recovery.

Working with your health professionals to find the right treatment for you and your needs is very important and find health professionals to develop a positive stressful relief technique, coping mechanisms, and more.

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