CRPS: Symptoms and How to Treat It


December 20, 2022

Do you experience chronic pain that is beyond the normal “aches and pains” of everyday life? Are your symptoms widespread, affecting multiple body parts? You may have a rare nerve condition known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

CRPS is one of the most painful and debilitating conditions known to modern medicine. It can significantly interfere with daily activities, making it difficult for sufferers to cope with even mundane tasks. Read on to learn more about CRPS, its symptoms, treatment, and effective therapies that may help reduce the associated pain: 

What is CRPS?

Chronic regional pain syndrome is a chronic condition caused by an injury or trauma to the area of the body. It’s often seen in people who have had bone fractures, muscle strains or sprains, or even limb amputations. This type of pain is localized and can be quite severe. People with CRPS feel a burning sensation in the affected area and an intense, chronic pain that remains despite various treatments or therapies. 

The Symptoms 

The primary symptom of CRPS is persistent, burning pain in the affected area. This type of pain is often accompanied by:

  • Changes to the skin tone and texture, including redness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Joint stiffness
  • Fatigue, which can affect the person’s ability to perform daily activities 

Causes of CRPS

The exact cause of CRPS is unknown, but it’s believed that the condition develops due to an injury or trauma which causes nerve damage. It’s also thought that people who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or autoimmune diseases, may be more prone to developing CRPS.

Treatments Available

The goal of treating CRPS is to reduce pain and discomfort while restoring the person’s functional abilities. The type of treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and may include the following:

  • Medication: Medications such as opioids may help relieve pain. However, they should only be used when necessary and in conjunction with other treatments.
  • Physical therapy: This is one of the most important treatments for CRPS as it can help improve range of motion, strength, and flexibility. It focuses on desensitizing the affected area to help reduce pain and discomfort.
  • Bracing and splinting: This may also be used to provide support for the affected limb or body part.
  • Nerve blocks or injections: This is an effective way to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Occupational therapy: This can help with activities of daily living.
  • Psychological counseling: Helps the person cope with stress and manage their symptoms.

Therapy Options

Along with medications and physical therapy, several other therapies may help relieve the symptoms of CRPS. These include

  • Biofeedback: This form of psychotherapy uses technology to teach people how to control their bodily functions.
  • Hypnosis and relaxation techniques: Helps the person reach a deep state of relaxation
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Focuses on changing thought patterns to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Acupuncture and yoga: These are both ancient practices that can help relax the body and release tension in the muscles.
  • Massage therapy: This is another relaxation technique that may also be useful in relieving pain associated with CRPS.

Get Treatment For CRPS Today!

CRPS is a debilitating condition that can greatly impact a person’s quality of life. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of CRPS and to seek treatment as soon as possible if you think you may be experiencing them. Many options are available for treating CRPS, so there is no need to suffer from this condition without help. If you want more information about CRPS or want to speak with someone about therapy options, please fill out the form below to contact us at Southeast Pain & Spine Care.

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