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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex Regional Syndrome is a chronic pain condition and damages one of the limbs such as arms, legs, hands, or feet, mostly after an injury or trauma to that limb. CRPS is caused by the damage or malfunction of the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS may cause acute pain and unwanted changes in your skin color and swelling at the damaged area.


The procedure of diagnosis depends on your medical history and symptoms, which are similar to CRPS. In order to diagnose CRPS, careful examination is required as behind many other acute conditions there are similar symptoms.

  • Testing can be performed to rule out other conditions like arthritis syndromes, Lyme disease, generalized muscle diseases, a clotted vein, or small nerve fiber polyneuropathies specifically from diabetes, as there are different treatments for these conditions.
  • The different feature of CRPS is known as the history of earlier injury to the affected area, as most of other conditions are not caused by injury.


The cause of CRPS is difficult to find, but it is believed that in CRPS, your body react in an abnormal way to an injury. It used to be assumed that CRPS is a psychosomatic condition, but later it has been disproved by medical researchers.

Symptoms of CRPS

The main symptom behind CRPS is long lasting pain, which persists with its full strength in your body. In many people it turns into unbearable or severe pain. In the pain caused by CRPS, you feel as if someone is inserting needle in your skin, which is causing sensation or the feeling of burning on your skin, or as if someone pressing the injured limb. People with CRPS may experience changes in temperature, skin color, and swelling of the injured limb. It is because of abnormal microcirculation occurred by injury to nerves controlling blood flow and temperature. The skin of the injured limb can change into many colors such as blotchy, blue, purple, pale and red.


Treatment of CRPS contains 4 important aspects

  1. Being a patient of CRPS, you are given clear information about your condition and guided that how you can manage your condition yourself and it comes under self-management.
  2. Physical rehabilitation, it is for managing your symptoms and eliminating the risk of long lasting physical problems, like physiotherapy exercises.
  3. Pain relief, it is to remove your pain such as anticonvulsants and antidepressants
  4. Psychological treatment, it is to help you in coping with the CRPS without getting depression for your condition and the treatment is called cognitive behavioral therapy.

For more information regarding Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and how it should be treated, feel free to call our office at (815) 464-6166