Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), sometimes called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), is a condition in which a patient develops chronic pain in a limb after an injury, medical procedure or even a burn.
CRPS could start out in one area of your body—for instance, your hand—and then spread out to affect your entire arm. This syndrome comes with a range of symptoms and can be challenging to treat with just one therapy.
Here, we detail more about CRPS as well as therapies to help alleviate your pain.
What Causes Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
It’s not exactly clear what causes complex regional pain syndrome, but research suggests that the body has an abnormal response to an injury. You could have had a fracture, sprain or a medical procedure done prior to developing the condition. With CRPS, your immune system as well as your central and peripheral nervous systems may play a role in your body’s reaction to a previous wound.
While CRPS is treatable, the condition can’t be completely cured. However, there are treatments that can greatly help reduce your discomfort and improve your quality of life.
People who live with complex regional pain syndrome could experience any or a combination of the following symptoms:
- Unexplained pain or discomfort (often in the arm, leg, hand or foot) that doesn’t go away
- Changes in skin color & temperature (feeling warmer or cooler)
- Burning pain or a “pins and needles” feeling
- Pain that may spread to the entire limb over time
- Skin in the affected area that may feel overly sensitive
- Abnormal sweating
- Changes in hair or nail growth
- Trouble moving the affected limb
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and searching “pain management clinic near me,” it’s important to get a diagnosis. Your physician can conduct a thorough exam and review of your medical history, including any diagnostic measures, to help determine if CRPS could be causing your pain.
Treatment Options to Alleviate Pain
You have options when it comes to treating CRPS. Many people benefit from a combination of therapies to help reduce pain. Treatment options available to you may include:
- Spinal cord stimulation. A minimally invasive procedure in which a small device is inserted to intercept pain signals to the brain and provide relief. Spinal cord stimulation may also help reduce the need for pain medication.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy may be able to help you restore mobility and ease discomfort in your affected limb; this form of treatment is often used in combination with other therapies.
- Intrathecal pump implant. These pain pumps include a small device that’s placed in the body to deliver pain medication directly to the affected area and reduce or eliminate the need for oral pain medication, which can cause serious side effects.
- Nerve blocks. Depending on the origin of your pain, you may benefit from a nerve block to help stop pain signals and alleviate chronic pain.
If you’re searching “pain management clinic near me,” consider that the right team of experts can customize a specific treatment plan for you to experience relief from CRPS symptoms.
We’re Here for You
If you’re suffering from complex regional pain syndrome and haven’t experienced relief with pain medication or other interventions, contact Summit Spine & Joint Centers today at (770) 962-3642. We offer in-person as well as virtual visits to help you get the care you need to live your best life!