Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

This is an uncommon but sometimes severe and debilitating condition that can be triggered by minor injuries such as fractures or sprains (or even occur spontaneously).

It is a difficult condition to manage and often requires the help of a team of doctors, physiotherapists and psychologists (multidisciplinary treatment). It has many features of neuropathic pain and may respond to some treatments for this type of pain. Best results are usually achieved if the condition is diagnosed and treated early.

It should be noted that CRPS is clinically diagnosed – no test can be done to confirm or rule out the diagnosis and patients who have had CRPS and recovered are at risk to have it again.

CRPS has been classified into two types
  • 90% of cases are CRPS 1
  • Previously known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Follows a minor injury or can be spontaneous
  • 10% of cases are CRPS 2
  • Previously known as Causalgia
  • Follows a demonstrable injury to a nerve

Possible causes of CRPS include in most cases an injury involving a nerve has occurred

Potential symptoms

  • Burning or pins and needles sensations
  • Constant or intermittent changes in temperature and skin colour
  • Swelling of the affected limb
  • Loss of fine motor control
  • Tremors or spasms Stiffness

Recommended treatments

  • Medication
  • Psychological and physical therapy
  • Graded Motor Imagery (including mirror box therapy)
  • Nerve or ganglion blocks (sympathectomy)
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation.

Why suffer? Make an appointment to discuss a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.

To find out more about our treatment options that can help reduce or eliminate your pain, contact us or make an appointment today.