CRPS or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a long-term condition that causes severe burning pain for patients. While there is no cure, there are several ways to relieve pain and achieve a better quality of life.
Facts about CRPS
- Both men and women at any age may suffer from CRPS but most patients are 30-55 years old and women are more likely to be affected than men.
- Treatment is most effective when started early in the course of the illness.
- The diagnosis can be made with a bone scan, MRI and X-ray.
- CRPS can be two types –
1 Type 1 or RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) – occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage a nerve in the affected area.
2 Type 2 or Causalgia – Occurs after a direct nerve injury.
5 Both Type 2 and Type 2 CRPS patients go through the same stages and exhibit the same symptoms.
Symptoms of CRPS
- Constant, prolonged burning pain
- Stiffness in affected joints
- Unusual movements in affected limb
- Frequent changes in temperature, color, and swelling of the limb
- Unusual sweating pattern in the affected area
- Problems with coordinating muscle movement
- Possible Causes of CRPS
Possible causes of CRPS include –
- Small nerve fiber injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Limb immobilization (for instance, after it has been in a cast)
- Medical conditions, such as heart disease
Several treatments may be combined to treat CRPS and help the patient lead a better life. These may include –
Physical therapy – A gradually increasing exercise regime to keep the affected area mobile could help improve blood circulation and restore the range of motion.
Medications – While there are no specific medications for CRPS, NSAIDs and antidepressants can help to relieve pain and other symptoms.
Sympathetic Nerve Block – This can offer quick pain relief. An anesthetic is injected next to the spine to block the activity of sympathetic nerves and to improve blood flow.
Spinal Cord Stimulation – Stimulating electrodes are placed next to the spinal cord. These generate a mild electric current that interferes with the nerves’ ability to send signals to the brain. Instead, they create a tingling sensation.
Intrathecal Drug Pumps – These pumps deliver pain-relieving drugs directly to the pain-signaling targets in the spinal cord. This also allows pain to be relieved with much smaller doses of the medication as compared to oral medication.
If you are looking for the best pain management doctors, internal medicine doctors, or restorative pain management San Diego, call Pacific Medical Care at 619-333-8114 Today. All you have to do is make a phone call and the doctor will be at your doorstep within a short while! The San Diego internal medicine doctors at Pacific Medical Care are Board Certified, highly skilled, compassionate and knowledgeable.