Complex regional pain syndrome
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Your QuestionWhat are the common symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?
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Questions on this page
- sensitivity to touch or cold
- swelling of the painful area
- changes in skin temperature, color, and/or texture
- joint stiffness and swelling
- muscle weakness and/or muscle spasms
Symptoms may change over time and vary from person to person. In some people, signs and symptoms of go away on their own. In others, symptoms can persist for months to years.
A combination of therapies is usually necessary including medications, physical and occupational therapy, interventional procedures, and psychosocial/behavioral management. Medications used to treat CRPS may include:oral and topical pain relievers; antidepressants or anticonvulsants (which are sometimes used to treat pain); corticosteroids; bone-loss medications; sympathetic nerve-blocking medications; intravenous anesthetics (Ketamine), and/or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). Other therapies used may include applying heat or cold; electrical nerve stimulation; and biofeedback. Interventional procedures may include: trigger/tender point injections; regional sympathetic nerve block; spinal cord stimulation; epiduralclonidine; and chemical or mechanical sympathectomy. Unfortunately, published research studies validating the efficacy of these treatment options are limited and no single drug or therapy (or combination) has shown consistent, long-lasting improvement among affected people.
For more information on treatment options for CRPS, click on the following link from the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Association of America (RSDSA)
http://rsds.org/treatment or the following link on chronic pain through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- NINDS Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Information Page. NINDS. November 3, 2015; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy/reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy.htm.
- Telltale Signs and Symptoms of CRPS/RSD. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association of America (RSDSA). 2015; http://rsds.org/telltale-signs-and-symptoms-of-crpsrsd/.
- Salahadin Abdi. Complex regional pain syndrome in adults: Prevention and management. UpToDate. Jan 06, 2016; http://www.uptodate.com/contents/complex-regional-pain-syndrome-in-adults-prevention-and-management.
- Complex regional pain syndrome. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/complex-regional-pain-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20022844. Accessed 11/11/2014.
- David D. Sherry. Complex regional pain syndrome in children. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate; November, 2014; Accessed 11/11/2014.