What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?

2018-09-27T16:12:08+00:00 February 28th, 2018|

Chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare neuropathic syndrome that causes lasting pain. It is thought to be caused by a nervous system glitch. Changes in skin color, swelling, and temperature abnormalities usually coexist with other symptoms. Type One CRPS involves an unknown injury, while Type Two is associated with a confirmed injury. The latter is also known as causalgia.

Symptoms of CRPS

  • Burning or throbbing pain
  • Swelling and stiff joints
  • Skin temperature changes and sensitivity to cold
  • Skin texture changes, tenderness, and thinning
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tremors
  • Restricted movements

CRPS isn’t a static disorder. Your symptoms will probably change as time progresses. Spontaneous remission can happen, but some patients cope with their symptoms for years. The sooner treatment is started, the more effective it will be, so it’s important to see a doctor as soon as your symptoms appear.

The Difference Between Chronic Pain and CRPS

The term “chronic pain” is generic. It can refer to anything from fibromyalgia to musculoskeletal conditions. As a catch-all term, it provides only a general idea of the problem so it needs to be investigated until a cause is found. In contrast, CRPS is neuropathic in nature and often makes ordinary touch feel like pain. It is, in short, a precise diagnosis with a wealth of potential treatments.

Surgery, infections, sprains, and even heart attacks can lead to CRPS. The syndrome can progress if it’s not treated early enough, leading to atrophy of the skin, bones, and muscles. Tightening can limit movement severely.

Treatment for CRPS

CRPS treatment must attack the problem from every angle. Muscles must be mobilized to prevent secondary symptoms from appearing. Three different approaches to medication can be tried. Analgesics and anti-inflammatories relieve symptoms in the short term, while anticonvulsants improve your pain threshold.

CRPS needn’t be a life sentence. Medication and therapy, such as Ketamine Infusion, can reduce many of its symptoms. With the right care, a full remission is even possible. As research progresses, scientists are gaining a greater understanding of the syndrome, and with it, a better idea of effective therapies.