The Chronic Pain of CRPS

Pain Management Specialties Show Low AZIn some conditions that involve chronic pain, the causes aren’t fully understood. One of these is called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). But when a patient comes to us at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, he or she’s not as interested in the cause of their pain as they are about getting rid of it. We treat the pain of CRPS.

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

CRPS is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. It typically develops after an injury, surgery, a stroke, or a heart attack. But for some reason the corresponding pain that develops is out of proportion with the severity of the initial injury. The condition, also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, often begins in the hand or foot and then spreads to affect the entire limb.

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

Signs or symptoms of CRPS include:

  • Continuous burning or throbbing pain in an arm, leg, or foot
  • Sensitivity to touch or cold
  • Swelling in the painful area
  • Changes in skin color, ranging from white and mottled to red or blue
  • Changes in skin texture, which may become tender, thin, or shiny in the affected area
  • Changes in skin temperature, changing sweaty to cold
  • Changes in hair and nail growth
  • Joint stiffness, swelling, and damage
  • Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness, and atrophy
  • Decreased ability to move the affect body part

What causes CRPS?

The causes of CRPS aren’t fully understood. It typically occurs after an injury or trauma, but it can also be attributed to an abnormality of the peripheral and central nervous systems.

There are two types and they have different causes:

  • Type 1 — This form makes up about 90 percent of cases of CRPS. This type occurs after an illness or injury that did notdamage the nerves in the affected limb.
  • Type 2 — While the symptoms are similar to type 1, type 2 CRPS comes after a distinct nerve injury.

Treatment

At Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, Dr. Trujillo has the most success treating CRPS if it is diagnosed early on. There are a variety of possible treatments: hot and cold compresses, anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications, physical therapy, nerve block injections, and nerve stimulation.

Do you have the symptoms of CRPS? As mentioned above, treatment is most successful if it begins early in the process. Call us at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic Associates, (928) 532-1605, to make an appointment.

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