Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

CRPS is a type of chronic, long-lasting, pain that often develops in an arm or a leg that you have previously injured. With CRPS, you may have unexplained severe pain that may spread and won’t go away.  While the exact cause of CRPS is unknown, we do know that it is an abnormal response due to an injury. Like an allergy, CRPS seems to be a type of overreaction which can develop after any kind of trauma, such as a sprain, a fracture, a burn, or a medical procedure.

If you have CRPS, you may feel burning pain, or a “pins and needles” sensation. The pain from CRPS may spread such as pain from a hurt hand spreading to your entire arm or even to the other arm.  Your skin may change colors, feel warm or cool or may be so sensitive that even a light touch hurts. Other symptoms could include abnormal sweating, a change in hair or nails, or problems moving your limb.

The underlying goal of treating CRPS involves reducing pain/sensitivity of the area in restoring mobility and range of motion. This may involve a combination of different treatment modalities including physical therapy, injections, medications, or spinal cord or peripheral nerve stimulation.  . Medications or a nerve block are treatment options based on your situation. You may benefit from a device such as a pump which can deliver medication directly into the fluid around your spinal cord as you need it.