CRPS (RSD, causalgia)


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is an uncommon form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or leg. Complex regional pain syndrome typically develops after an injury, surgery, stroke, or heart attack, but the pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury, if any. Treatment for complex regional pain syndrome is most effective when started early. In such cases, improvement and even remission are possible.

CRPS is a disorder in which a large amount of nerve signals are sent to an affected area of the body, usually the arms, hands, legs, or feet.  CRPS is a chronic condition which mostly affects people (most often women) between ages 20 – 35.  There is no present cure for CRPS and no single cause has been established.  One of the hypothesized causes is thought to be extreme sensitivity of pain receptors to a certain neurochemical compound, known as catecholamine.  Sometimes CRPS occurs as a result of an injury to the affected body part, which then triggers an immune response that leads to inflammation, redness, warmth, and swelling.  Periods of remission and exacerbation of pain are common.

Common symptoms of CRPS are:

–       Very intense, burning, continuous pain that often spreads to other extremities

–       Swelling and stiffness in the affected joint

–       Disability of motion in the body part

–       Unusual or no nail and hair growth

–       Changes in skin colour to blotchy, pale, purple, or red

–       Changes in skin texture to shiny, thin, or excessively sweaty

CRPS is often intensified by emotional stress, and in turn can lead to depression if left untreated.  Other complications may include immobilization and skin infections.

In some people, signs and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome go away on their own. In others, signs and symptoms may persist for months to years. Treatment is likely to be most effective when started early in the course of the illness. Complex regional pain syndrome occurs in two types, with similar signs and symptoms, but different causes:

Type 1. Previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, this type occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage the nerves in your affected limb. About 90 percent of people with complex regional pain syndrome have type 1.

Type 2. Once referred to as causalgia, this type follows a distinct nerve injury.

We offer multidisciplinary assessments by a neurologist and a pain specialist, ultrasound guided nerve blocks with or without cortisone, Botulinum toxin injections, Lidocaine infusion, medications, chiropractic, physiotherapy, active exercises, acupuncture, Biofeedback, psychotherapy and assistive devices like braces, TENS/MET and orthotics.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/complex-regional-pain-syndrome?page=2

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/complex-regional-pain-syndrome

 

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