Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a disorder which causes chronic discomfort in one or more parts of the body. Typically, the pain is felt in the arms or legs. Anyone can show symptoms of CRPS, although, the syndrome affects more women than men. There are two types of complex regional pain syndrome:

  • Type I CRPS: Cases in which the nerve trauma are not identified immediately. This form of CRPS was previously known as the reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome.
  • Type II CRPS: Cases in which nerve trauma is clearly identified due to distinct and obvious nerve damage. This form of CRPS is also referred to as causalgia.

Signs & Symptoms

Complex regional pain syndrome is often characterized by prolonged, sometimes constant pain. Symptoms may include:

  • Burning sensation of the skin
  • Swelling of the affected area,
  • Significant changes in skin color and texture
  • Abnormal or excessive sweating near the affected area
  • Abnormal movement in the affected limb.

Those affected by CRPS often develop more serious problems over time. In severe cases, this could include the complete inability to use a limb, a slowing of normal functions (e.g., hair growth) and problems healing.

Common Causes & Diagnostics

Because of the variety of individual symptoms that arise, it can be difficult to properly diagnose complex regional pain syndrome. Typically, complex regional pain syndrome develops after an injury, surgery, heart attack or another form of physical trauma. However, the exact cause of this condition is not fully understood.

  • "Experts do not know exactly why such injuries or medical events trigger CRPS, even though the condition has been recognized by the medical profession for over 150 years. Specialists mostly agree that there is probably more than one single cause. Some argue that CRPS is a combination of different conditions with the same symptoms – they say it is not a single medical condition."
  • — Medical News Today

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Treatment

The doctors at Advanced Pain Care primarily focus on relieving the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome. Pain medications and epidural steroid injection are commonly prescribed to relieve discomfort. In some cases, patients will surgery to remove the nerves that are the source of their discomfort. If you are suffering from complex regional pain syndrome in Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Georgetown or Cedar Park make an appointment with us as soon as possible.