The Mystery of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

istock 1215529369 Certain things that occur with the human body remain a bit beyond our understanding. The overreaction of the body to allergens and why it affects some people but not others is a mystery. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a mystery as to why the body attacks its own joints. 

Complex regional pain syndrome is in that same realm. This form of chronic pain usually affects an arm or a leg, and the onset usually develops after an injury or other medical condition, but the true cause of the pain isn’t understood. 

Dr. Trujillo treats patients with complex regional pain syndrome, so let’s get more into detail in these two June blogs. 

What is complex regional pain syndrome? 

When a person has complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), the chronic pain that affects an arm or leg is out of proportion with the severity of the injury that happened before the onset of the pain. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke, or a heart attack. 

CRPS can be treated, and remission is possible, but treatment is most effective when started at the onset of symptoms. 

What are the symptoms of CRPS? 

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

The first symptoms are usually pain, swelling, redness, noticeable changes in temperature, and hypersensitivity. 

As CRPS continues, the affected limb can become cold and pale. It may undergo skin and nail changes as well as muscle spasms and tightening. When these changes occur, CRPS is often irreversible at this point. 

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, please give Dr. Trujillo a call at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic Associates, (855) 768-4968. We can help with the pain.

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