Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that typically affects one limb, usually following an injury. It’s believed to be caused by damage to, or a malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS is characterized by prolonged or excessive pain, changes in skin color, and swelling in the affected area.
At Alliance Orthopedics, we recognize the profound impact CRPS can have on an individual’s quality of life. Our dedicated team is committed to providing comprehensive care to help patients manage their symptoms and navigate the challenges of this condition.
Causes of CRPS
While the exact cause of CRPS isn’t fully understood, it’s believed to result from an abnormal response by the body to an injury. Potential triggers include:
- Sprains or strains
- Soft tissue injuries (burns, cuts, or bruises)
- Surgical procedures
- Even minor medical procedures such as needle pricks
Certain factors can increase the likelihood of developing CRPS:
- Age: CRPS is more common in individuals aged between 40 and 60, but it can occur at any age.
- Family history: There might be a genetic predisposition to CRPS, as it sometimes runs in families.
Symptoms of CRPS
CRPS symptoms can vary in severity and duration. Common symptoms include:
- Continuous burning or throbbing pain, usually in an arm, leg, hand, or foot
- Sensitivity to touch or cold
- Swelling in the affected area
- Changes in skin temperature, color, or texture
- Joint stiffness and muscle spasms
- Decreased ability to move the affected body part
At Alliance Orthopedics, diagnosing CRPS involves a comprehensive evaluation. Our team will begin by understanding your symptoms and medical history. A physical examination will follow, focusing on the signs of the condition.
There’s no single test to diagnose CRPS. The diagnosis is based on your medical history and the results of a physical exam. Bone scans, X-rays, MRI, and sympathetic nervous system tests might be used to confirm a diagnosis and rule out other conditions.
The treatment for CRPS is most effective when started early. Options include:
- Physical therapy: Gentle, guided exercises can help improve the affected limb’s range of motion and strength.
- Sympathetic nerve blocks: These can provide significant pain relief for some people.
- Spinal cord stimulation: Electrodes are placed along the spinal cord to provide a tingling sensation in the affected area, which can reduce pain.
At Alliance Orthopedics, our commitment is to provide world-class care for CRPS. We aim to guide patients through the complexities of this condition, ensuring they receive the support and treatment necessary to improve their quality of life.