Interventional Pain Management and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Located in Livonia, MI & Clinton Township, MI
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A
What is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?
CRPS is a chronic pain condition that causes severe pain localized to one limb (hand, arm, foot, or leg) following an injury. The condition is thought to develop due to damage or malfunction of your peripheral or central nervous system.
CRPS is classified into types based on diagnostic testing that confirms or rules out nerve damage. The types include:
People with CRPS-I, which was previously referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, don’t have confirmed nerve damage.
With CRPS-II, previously known as causalgia, nerve damage has been identified.
No matter the type of CRPS you have, the team takes the same approach to care.
What are the symptoms of CRPS?
The primary symptom of CRPS is prolonged, severe pain to the limb. The discomfort you experience may be a burning, squeezing, or pins-and-needles sensation.
In addition to the pain, you may also experience swelling, temperature changes, or changes in skin color. Other symptoms you may experience to the affected limb include:
- Changes in hair or nail growth
- Joint stiffness
- Poor muscle control
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in skin texture
The exact cause of CRPS isn’t known. However, the symptoms most often arise after an injury to the area, such as a fracture, cut, burn, or after a medical procedure, even something as minor as a needlestick.
How is CRPS diagnosed?
The team conducts a thorough and comprehensive evaluation when you come to the office with symptoms that may be indicative of CRPS.
During your evaluation, they review your symptoms, medical history (specifically looking for an underlying injury), and examine the affected limb.
They may request diagnostic tests, such as blood work or imaging, to rule out other causes of your pain. They may also conduct an electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction study (NCS) to assess nerve damage.
What are the treatments for CRPS?
The team takes a thorough and comprehensive approach to the treatment of CRPS. When diagnosed early, they may be able to cure your CRPS or prevent it from turning into a chronic condition using a combination of aggressive desensitization therapy and nerve stabilizing medications, with or without a sympathetic nerve block.If your CRPS is chronic, the team takes a multimodal approach to care with the goal of reducing your pain and improving your overall quality of life. Treatment options may include:
- Physical therapy
- Psychological therapy and pain psychology
- Sympathetic and peripheral nerve blocks
- Oral medications
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Dorsal root ganglion stimulation
- Peripheral nerve stimulation
- Ketamine and lidocaine intravenous (IV) infusions
- Intrathecal pain pump
The team works closely with you to ensure you get the right diagnosis and the most effective treatment plan.
For comprehensive management of your pain, call Enhance Center today to schedule an appointment.
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