Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
(CRPS and RSD) Treatment
Have you recently been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome? Are you suffering from CRPS symptoms and are currently researching treatment options?
The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia can help you. This particular webpage is designed to provide the necessary information you need. If you have questions at any point, please call us.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with our doctors, please call one of our offices nearest to you.
What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a condition that occurs when the nervous system misfires and sends signals to the brain. These signals get interpreted as pain signals, when in fact they shouldn’t be interpreted as such.
CRPS (also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy—RSD) commonly affects the arms or legs, but it can occur anywhere in the body. It is a type of chronic pain when high levels of nerve impulses get sent to the affected body part(s).
Patients who are 20-35 years old are most commonly affected, with women getting diagnosed more than men.
Common Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- swollen arms
- swollen legs
- cold arm
- cold leg
- burning skin
- sensitive skin when touched
- sensitive skin when other objects touch (i.e. bed sheets)
- continuous and intense pain
- burning pain
- swollen (affected) joints
- stiff (affected) joints
- decreased mobility in the affected body part
- changes in hair and nail growth
- excessively sweaty skin
- changes in skin temperature
- blotchy, purple, red, or pale skin color changes
- skin that becomes thin and shiny in texture
These symptoms may start in one area of the body, but then transition to a different part. Also keep in mind that CRPS can become worse with emotional stress. It is always best to track your symptoms and report all symptoms to your doctor.
Dr. Sackstein Explains RSD
What Causes Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
CRPS typically does not have a single cause. Instead, multiple causes are known to exist.
A lot of experts believe it occurs because of a dysfunction in the peripheral or central nervous systems. Additionally, CRPS may occur because of surgery or an injury.
Treatment and Care Options
Early diagnosis and treatment are very important to getting the results you deserve. Even though there is presently no cure for CRPS, many treatment and care options exist, including:
- sympathetic block
- stellate ganglion block
- lumbar sympathetic block
- katemine infusion
- lidocaine infusion
- clonidine to relieve pain
- injection therapy
- neuromodulation techniques
- spinal cord stimulators
- intrathecal medication pump
- physical therapy
- psychological counseling
- surgical sympathectomy
Our doctors at The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia will devise a customized treatment plan for you which may include any of these conservative techniques. The goal of our treatment plans for CRPS is to relieve acute or chronic pain.
Managing and Living With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Living with complex regional pain syndrome can be challenging at times. Sometimes your family and friends may not even believe you when you describe the extent of pain. This can potentially be a challenge to some patients.
Here are some strategies for daily living to cope with CRPS:
- Take up a new hobby that you enjoy.
- Continue talking to and meeting with family and friends.
- Get rest when you need it.
- Do not overdo it.
- Maintain your daily tasks as best as possible.
- Talk to a psychologist, therapist, or another professional if needed. They can help you with more coping skills.
- Take up yoga or other meditation and relaxation techniques.
- Join a support group to interact with other CRPS or chronic pain sufferers.
Resources and Tools: What Should You Do Now?
If you suffer from the symptoms of CRPS, or you are searching for conservative treatment for CRPS, call The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia. We are equipped with the knowledge and training necessary to diagnose and treat your CRPS symptoms and pain.
We invite you to call one of our offices located nearest to you if you have any questions.