Some common facts about Complex Regional Pain

Thanks to our modern science which helped us know a lot about CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome). CRPS is basically a pain condition that effects limbs like feet, hand, legs and arms especially after a trauma or injury. In some cases it is mild, some its moderate and in other cases it is severe too.

CRPS can occur due to malfunction or damage of central or peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system comprise of spinal cord and brain and peripheral nervous system consists of nerve signaling via spinal cord and brain to the entire body.

Some common facts about CRPS are

The pain is not directly associated to range of damage or injury

The pain that occurs in case of CRPS can be unbearable without affecting much to tissue health. Remember this pain part of protection of the body on its own and doesn’t indicate any tissue damage.

The limb that is affected can feel different from the way it actually looks

Here temperature and size are included. It also feels like detaches, not mine, doesn’t belong to me . The loss of sensation of owning the limb occurs as brain produces this sense, but brain can also regulate it.

The symptoms absolutely can change depending on how you feel and your mood

Stress can increase the pain. This is because of identified threat to the individual triggering  protection.

Looking at someone who can move their body part leads to depression or hurt you

The brain imitates the similar movement leading to actual pain.

Change in color of limb because of change in blood flow

The ANS (automatic nervous system) controls our blood flow. This system answers to identified threat – fright, flight, freeze.  In simple words this system responds to what and how we think. When it is a embarrassing situation for us we turn to red.  This is due to how we though of that situation. The ANS becomes sensitive, and is asoosciated with CRPS – sweaty palms, changed sense regarding size and color change.

The women are affected almost 3 times more than men. A series of CRPS  treatment is conducted normally to improve symptoms of CRPS. A MRI, x-ray, bone scan or a test of nervous system can help a person know if he/s she has CRPS.

A majority of CRPS patients within the age group of 30-55 years and CRPS can spread occasionally from one part to another anywhere in our body like opposite limb. Symptoms and signs exists from months and extend to years and treatment is only effective when started in initial stages of the disease.

The condition takes several to many years to improve. Approx 75% of patients get back to normal condition whereas some near normal. About 15 per cent have permanent diability(moderate) and 10% cases suffer from permanent diability(severe). Fifty percent of people who remain untreated end up facing extreme residual impairement.

It is better to get your CRPS condition treated in early stages of illness to avoid severe impairment.

Drugs and treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Remission and improvement of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is absolutely possible if you start the treatment within first couple of months of first symptoms that you notice. Combining different therapies is essential. Your doctor can customize the treatment for you depending on your medical condition. The treatments for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome comprise of the following


Doctors may use different types of medications to treat Complex Regional Pain Syndrome symptoms they are

Anticonvulsants/Antidepressants- sometimes anticonvulsants like gabapentin or antidepressants like Amitriptyline are used for treating pain that occurs due to nerve damage.

Pain Relievers- OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen, Motrin B, Naproxen and aspirin can help ease inflammation and pain. Your doctor might prescribe strong pain relievers in case OTC is not effective. Opioid medication is another option, which when taken in right doses can provide relief in case of unbearable pain.

Medication for bone loss- your doctor can suggest medications that help in preventing or slow bone loss.

Intravenous Ketamine- studies say that taking intravenous ketamine in low doses can help eliminate pain as it is a strong anesthetic.

Corticosteroids- medications related to steroids like prednisone helps improve the movement of affected limb and also reduces inflammation.


Topical analgesics- topical treatments help decrease the hypersensitivity like capsaicin cream etc.

Physical therapy- very gentle and properly guided exercising of your affected limb can help reduce pain, improve mobility and strength. In case the disease is detected in its early stage, there are many exercises that can prove to be quite helpful.

Applying cold and heat- Application of cold packs and reduce sweating and swelling. Applying heat is useful if the area that is affected is cool.

Biofeedback- for some patients learning techniques used in biofeedback can help. Biofeedback helps you learn more about your body and you can help your body relax and eliminate pain.

Stimulation of Spinal Cord- tiny electrodes are inserted by the doctor along the spinal cord. Electric current (small) sent to your spinal cord gives relief from pain.

Physiotherapy- it helps with flexibility, strength, balance, regaining the muscle mass, cardiovascular conditioning and the therapy is very effective in treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Relaxation techniques- the techniques help reduce anxiety, depression, anger, calms the body. It helps treating pain without any drugs.

Yoga- some yoga postures are also helpful in relieving pain but yoga should be done under the supervision of a trained yoga instructor.

Well it is always better to treat the condition in its early stages as if the pain becomes chronic, each treatment takes longer period of time to show results. The treatments work well when the symptoms are treated in the beginning itself. In severe cases some people also need surgery, but otherwise the above mentioned medications and therapies are quite effective in relieving pain.

Make sure you follow a healthy lifestyle and maintain a good exercise routine and be stress free to fight the symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. You can meditate to be stress free.

Learning about causes of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a disease and is a nerve disorder which is rare. Its symptoms start with intense pain that can arise in legs, hands, feet and hands. It happens when you come across a serious injury to the nerve or tissue of the area which is affected. The pain increases and often captures leg or arm. Some changes noticed in areas that get affected post the disorder is sudden changes in temperature and color of the skin. Other symptoms are burning pain which is very intense, skin sensitivity, sweating and swelling.

The theory written for the cause of this condition says it is because of triggering of our immune system, which causes inflammation in the area that is affected. Various symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome are

The affected area gets sensitive to touch

Change in texture of the skin

Painful and burning sensation in area which gets affected

Movement loss in affected area

Muscle weakness and pain

Change in color of the skin

Affected area gets sensitive o sometimes touch and sometimes to temperature.

Even if the disorder is not very common, the doctors are very much aware about this condition. The doctors diagnose based on the result of pain symptoms and physical examination. The above stated symptoms help doctor diagnose the problem correctly. The doctors also take other test like thermography, sweat test, tests for sympathetic nervous system. The disease can be diagnosed but there is not test that determines the disease Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Two types CRPS are

Type one CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) – this type of disorder is caused because of injuries of ankles which get sprained or fractured. The nerve damage in this case is minimal.

Type two Complex Regional Pain Syndrome- this type of disorder is caused due to serious injuries where the nerve damage is quite serious like a broken bone or infection. Though it is rare there is a solution to this condition and doctors suggest sympathetic block, which involves anesthesia injection that helps in obstructing signals. Counseling and physiotherapy also helps many times. If the disorder is detected in its early stages the pain can be prevented from recurring through relevant treatments.

The disease affects women that fall under the age of forty to sixty. During advance stages a mere touch on the part that is affected or exposure to change in temperature increases the pain which is unbearable. Some people get frequent attacks while some are lucky and the pain disappears completely after a couple of months. There are also some symptoms which are extreme and visible such as growth of hair and nail. The growth is at either abnormal speed or is very slow.

Some people also experience clammy hands due to excessive sweating. If you notice symptoms being mentioned above it is better to consult your doctor immediately in order to get timely treatment which can help you reduce pain and stop pain from recurring.

Understanding about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is amongst the most weakening medical condition to deal with. It can influence your sleep, job, mental health, your relationships etc., ideally you should be able to enjoy and have fun with your family, yourself without worrying about what is going to happen next. Chronic pain leads to affect your ability to enjoy with yourself and your family and this result in spending a stressful life. There are some treatments that can help you enjoy quality life without worrying about your chronic pain.

Cause of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

You might wonder as what could be the cause of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome? Well the exact reason for this syndrome is still not known, but in 90% cases the reason is trauma or major injury that starts Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The injuries that result in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome are injuries related to soft tissues like bruises, burns and cuts, bone fractures, limb immobilization, sprains, strains. Nerve abnormalities like arthritis and if the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is hereditary it can lead to CRPS.

Pain remedies and alternatives

Remedies for treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome vary and the remedies solely depend on the nature of pain and its severity. Some extreme treatments are surgical procedures, drug pumps, nerve blocks and stimulation of spinal cord. Some common treatments include Botox injections, anti-depressants, corticosteroids, anti-epileptics, anti-inflammatory medicines. Another common treatment is use of topical anesthetic creams or patches.

Benefits of Topical Cream

Topical creams are known to be the popular treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome as they non-dependency forming and highly effective. Topical creams are difficult to get abuse or dependent and side effects are very less in these creams. These creams are better as compared to patches and pills as they can be harmful and result in addiction or cognitive impairment in a lot of cases. These topical creams are not only safe, but you can also get them free through insurance carriers.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a strange form of difficult to bear chronic pain that needs to be treated early to prevent severe complications. The pain sensation can occur in hand, arm, leg, foot and can be aching and throbbing. The area that is affected tends to change texture, skin color, temperature or change in nail and hair growth. There are also chances of causing inflammation in affected area followed by swelling and tenderness. Eventually it leads to deteriorate joints, bones and muscles from disuse.

If Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is not treated, in the areas that are affected, the area can be tighten to such an extent that foot or hands get stuck in a particular contracted position. As the cause for this condition is still not known, the theory says that is a kind of malfunction of inflammatory response and nervous system is involved. As stated above early treatment shows better results, the person should approach the physician for proper treatment in early stages when he/she notices symptoms to avoid other related complications.

Key causes and symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

The disease CRPS or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is the rare disorder of nerves. The symptoms generally cause extreme pain and affected areas are hands, legs, feet and arms. It generally happens after the serious injury to nerves or to tissue of an affected area. This disorder is known as Causalgia. The causes responsible for such disorder are unknown. However, pain quite often spreads to entire leg or arm. There are some changes that are observed in affected areas after the disorder such as dramatic changes in color and also in temperature of skin in the exaggerated limb. Other symptoms also include skin sensitivity, intense burning pain, swelling and sweating. Even though, there are also some theories that are behind the cause of such disorder, authenticity of theories are also questionable. The theory is main cause that is behind sustenance of pain might be considerate nervous system. The next speculation about CPRS cause is that it is caused through triggering of immune response that might leads to inflammation in affected area.

Key symptoms of CRPS:

  •        A burning and painful pain in an affected area such as your leg, foot, hand and arm
  •        Change in the color of your skin that might turn as white, blue or even red
  •        The affected area might be also sensitive to temperature and touch
  •        Change in the texture of skin texture such as too shiny or too thin
  •        Loss of the movement in the affected region
  •        Weakness or Muscle pain

Though it is completely rare disorder, many doctors are much familiar. The doctor also makes the diagnoses of physical exam along with the symptoms of pain. The above mentioned symptoms will assist doctor to make correct diagnosis. Though, the disease is also diagnosable, certainly there is no such single test to identify CRPS. For instance, doctor may take the test to check your skin temperature and also blood circulation of a specific area. In such a case diagnose becomes doubtful, hence MRI can help to identify CRPS.

There are mainly 2 two types of CRPS that have completely various causes.

  •        CRPS Type 1 – This disorder gets triggered by various injuries like ankles that are sprained and fractured. There is generally minimal damage to nerve.
  •        CRPS Type 2 – This disorder is mainly caused by serious injuries that have nerve damage like operation, broken bone or serious infection.

This disorder is quite rare, but it is usually not eradicated completely. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome seems to be quite common amongst people and especially women between ages of 50 to 70. But, there is also a solution for this disorder. Doctors generally suggest sympathetic block. It mainly involves the injection of anaesthesia that obstructs entire pain signals. Counselling and Physiotherapy may also help at times. In case this disorder gets diagnosed quite early so regular treatments can help to keep pain from recurring. But in case it is diagnosed after some time or if symptoms are quite severe, so there is a possibility that patients might not respond properly to treatments.

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