Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is chronic pain in the arm or leg, which often develops after a heart attack, stroke, or surgical procedure.
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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a serious pain condition, which most often affects one limb, and lasts more than six months. As such, it is considered a chronic condition. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome usually occurs after an injury to the affected limb, and is believed to be caused by a malfunction of or damage to the peripheral (nerve signaling process from the spinal cord and brain to the rest of the body) and central nervous systems (brain and spinal cord).
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome causes excessive, prolonged pain, swelling in the affected area, and skin temperature and color changes. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is more common among women, and can occur at any age, although is rarely seen in the elderly or children under the age of ten. Some patients may have a mild case of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, while others may never recover.
Causes and Symptoms of CRPS
CRPS is triggered by trauma or injury in more than 90 percent of all cases, including bruises, burns, cuts, sprains/strains or fractures, however data suggest that Complex Regional Pain Syndrome can be influenced by genetics. The Syndrome can be more common among those with autoimmune or inflammatory conditions. The pain associated with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome has been called a burning pain, “pins and needles” pain, or a squeezing pain.
Even when the original injury only involved a toe or a finger, the pain can spread to the entire foot or hand, or even further, to the leg or arm. The affected limb may feel warmer or cooler when compared to the opposite limb, and the skin on the affected limb can be red, blotchy, pale, blue, purple, thin and/or shiny. Changes in hair and nail growth patterns may be noted, as well as abnormal sweating patterns in the affected area, and stiffness in the affected joints.
Diagnosing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
There is currently no test which confirms CRPS; therefore, diagnosis must be based on the patient’s medical history. MRIs and triple-phase bone scans may be helpful in confirming your diagnosis.
Treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
The experienced interventional pain management specialists at Seattle Pain will evaluate your pain, developing a customized, comprehensive pain treatment program to help you in your day-to-day life. At Seattle Pain, we employ both traditional and non-traditional treatments for your Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, including:
- Sympathetic nerve blocks (lumbar, brachial plexus and stellate ganglion)
- Peripheral nerve stimulation
- Spinal cord stimulation
- NSAIDs, opiate medications or membrane-stabilizing drugs
Do you suffer from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Contact Our Seattle Interventional Pain Management Specialists
We understand that chronic pain can turn your entire life upside down. At Seattle Pain, our primary goal is to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. We believe in treating the whole patient – and not just the injury. You do not have to live in pain. Call us today at 253-944-1289 or complete a contact form today.