Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a poorly misunderstood health complication involving persistent debilitating and severe pain. In most cases, the condition is triggered by an injury, but unlike other painful symptoms, the pain caused can be long-lasting and more significant than average. Generally, the interventional pain specialists at Pacific Sports and Spine, who manage complex regional pain syndrome in Eugene, recommend that you seek medical interventions as soon as possible. Here is more information about the condition.
The exact causes of CRPS remain unknown, making the condition difficult to understand. However, it has been thought to be caused by an injury or an abnormality in the nervous system. Experts have found that the condition may occur in two different forms caused by various factors but showing the same symptoms. The first form of CRPS is referred to as sympathetic dystrophy and occurs after an injury or an illness that may not have directly affected your nervous system. The second form of CRPS occurs when you experience a different nerve injury in your limb or arm.
CRPS symptoms may change from time to time and may differ from one patient to another. However, some of the common symptoms include:
- Persistent throbbing or burning pain mainly in your leg, foot, hand, or arm.
- Swelling in the painful area.
- Touch of cold sensitivity.
- Nail and hair growth changes.
- Skin color changes.
- Skin temperature changes.
- Muscle weaknesses and spasms.
- Joint stiffness, damage, and swelling.
- Decreased mobility in the affected part.
You should seek medical interventions as soon as you observe any of the earlier mentioned symptoms of CRPS. Failure to diagnose the complication early can cause more disabling issues such as tissue wasting and muscle tightening.
When you reach out to your doctor with any CRPS symptoms, they will probably diagnose the condition through a physical exam and review your medical history. Understand that CRPS is not a single test diagnosis condition. However, combining a bone scan, sweat production test, X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help your doctor understand your symptoms.
Several treatments are available to relieve the CRPS symptoms. Your provider will tailor every treatment option to your unique needs. Remember that early treatment improves the efficiency of any treatment. Some of the standard treatment options for CRPS include:
Medications: Some medications can be recommended to relieve some of your symptoms. Your doctor may recommend pain relievers, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, bone-loss medications, sympathetic nerve-blocking medications, and intravenous ketamine.
Therapy: you might also benefit from heat therapy, topical analgesics, physical or occupational therapy, mirror therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), biofeedback, spinal cord stimulation, and acupuncture.
Although the cause of CRPS is not clearly understood, as mentioned earlier, there are specific steps you can take to minimize your risks for the condition. Research indicates that taking vitamin C after a wrist fracture can help avoid the disease. Also, engaging in early mobilization if you are recovering from a stroke can minimize your risks for complications.
Please reach out to Pacific Sports and Spine today to learn more about Complex regional pain syndrome. Do not wait longer if you have any signs of the complication. Your provider will diagnose your condition and recommend suitable treatment options for you.