faqs on complex regional pain syndrome (crps)

What is CRPS?

sympathetic nervous system.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a painful condition that results from overstimulated nerves of the sympathetic nervous system, in a specific part of body, like the arm or the leg.

The causes for CRPS are still unknown but there are studies constantly being undertaken to determine its specific cause.

How many people suffer from CRPS?

CRPS can occur to a person at any stage of their life. There may be specific conditions that put a person at risk of developing CRPS, but essentially, anyone can manifest the syndrome. In medical terms, this disorder is also referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, or RSD, also known as RSD can recur throughout an individual’s life, and is caused by a nervous condition.

Medical data reveals that between a figure of 200,000 to one million individuals in America are affected by CRPS. This disorder can occur to anyone over the age of 3 to a hundred.

Medical data reveals that between a figure of 200,000 to one million individuals in America are affected by CRPS. This disorder can occur to anyone over the age of 3 to a hundred.

This disorder usually develops post severe trauma, but it can also take place in people who have in the recent past had an invasive procedure conducted on them, or can occur in sufferers of heart attack or even a stroke. The pain can be very intense and can even surpass the pain that resulted from the trauma that caused it.

For instance, the pain inflicted by an injured arm or even leg is not as great as the pain that occurs due to CRPS. Studies have shown that CRPS is more likely to occur in females above 50 years of age, who have suffered from a fracture, as compared to males over 50 who have or haven’t suffered a fracture (Harden et al., Progress in Pain Research and Management, 2005).

What are the most common causes of CRPS?

We know that typically two forms of CRPS can occur, and both have the same symptoms but the triggers may vary. There is no complete understanding as yet as to why certain injuries can cause CRPS while others don’t, but there are studies constantly being undertaken to determine this.

Type I: The Type 1 CRPS is also called RSD. It manifests after disease or some form of trauma, but it will not fully damage the nerves in the affected region. The majority of sufferers of CRPS suffer from the Type 1 disorder, while only 10% do not manifest this type (Puchalski, et al., J Hand Surg, 2005).

Type II: The Type 2 CRPS is the rarer form of the disorder and is found in around hardly 10% of sufferers. This form of CRPS takes place after trauma to the nerves that is very specific, and is called causalgia. This form of the disorder has a more easily identifiable source and can damage the nerves of the affected body part.

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

CRPS manifests primarily through recurrent pain and it can be hard to treat the disease mainly because the symptoms that occur can vary over time. The most common symptoms of the condition are:

  • Searing pain or throbbing in the outermost regions (and in the hand or even foot)
  • Pronounced sensitivity to low temperatures
  • Inflammation of the affected region
  • Reduced mobility of the affected region, along with inflammation
  • Muscle convulsions and vulnerability, or limited mobility as a result of atrophy
  • Restricted ability to move the affected region
  • Modifications in skin’s temperature, feel, complexion and consistency

These symptoms can be different in various cases based on what form of CRPS the sufferer manifests. In certain instances, the indications may disappear and then occur again after a period of time, while in other cases, the symptoms can continue to occur over month and even years.

What can be done for CRPS?

CRPS can be treated effectively only if it is diagnosed within the initial few months of symptoms occurring. That is why it is essential for a patient who exhibits these symptoms to get treated for them as early as possible at a Las Vegas Pain Management Clinic. With early treatment, complete elimination of the disease is possible.

In many cases, several types of therapy need to be done using a combination of drugs and injections along with PT.

The condition can be treated using drugs as treatment that can alleviate the pain and symptoms of CRPS:

Use Nerve-blocking medication injections – these can be given to the patient so as to allow for reduction of pain in certain parts of the patient’s body. This can include lumbar sympathetic blocks as well as stellate ganglion injections.

Other Therapies- that can alleviate the symptoms of CRPS, such as using cold as well as hot packs on the painful region, to using biofeedback. It is also known that chiropractic as well as physical activity can also help to desensitize the nerves in that region and allow for pain reduction.

Spinal Cord Stimulation – Small electrodes inserted into a spine can be used to administer an electric shock to the area so as to promote pain reduction. This works by modifying the brain’s detection of the pain.

CRPS may become a chronic condition but a Las Vegas Pain Management professional can assist you in working on a suitable therapy that can alleviate the symptoms of CRPS.

While recurrences can arise, your Las Vegas Pain Management provider can work with you to develop the most effective treatment plan and identify the triggers associated with CRPS.

The Nevada Pain Network can help you find a pain relief clinic in Henderson and Las Vegas.

Call (702) 323-0553 for help today!