Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Complex regional pain syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • CRPS
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


Newline Maker

What causes complex regional pain syndrome?

Currently the cause of complex regional pain syndrome is not well understood. In general it is thought to be caused by damage to the nervous system such as by injury or infection in an arm or leg, heart attack, or stroke. This damage includes harm to the nerves that control the blood vessels and sweat glands.[1] A second theory is that this syndrome is caused by a triggering of the immune response, which leads to the characteristic inflammatory symptoms of redness, warmth, and swelling in the affected area.[2]
Last updated: 10/19/2011

  1. Complex regional pain syndrome. MedlinePlus. 2008; Accessed 5/20/2009.
  2. NINDS Complex regional pain syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. April 2011; Accessed 10/19/2011.