Q & A
What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic condition typically affecting your arms, legs, hands, or feet. It usually occurs following an injury or trauma to your affected limb. CRPS pain is disproportionate to the original injury or trauma.
CRPS can strike at any age and affects both men and women, although it disproportionately affects women and is rare in the elderly. The average age of affected individuals is about 40.
The most common triggers of CRPS are:
- Muscle sprains or strains
- Soft tissue injury (like burns, cuts, or bruises)
- Immobile limbs (being in a cast)
- Surgical procedures
What are symptoms of CRPS?
Signs and symptoms of CRPS can include:
- Recurring throbbing pain, usually in one of your arms, legs, hands, or feet
- Swelling near the affected area
- Changes to the color of your skin (can range from white to red or blue)
- Changes to the texture of your skin
- Changes to your hair and nail growth
- Joint stiffness
- Weakened muscles
- Muscle spasms
Symptoms often change over time and differ from person to person. In most cases, pain, swelling, and redness to the affected area occur first.
What causes CRPS?
There are two distinct types of CRPS:
This is also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome. It occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly affect the nerves in your hurt limb. About 90% of CRPS patients have Type 1.
This is much less common. Once referred to as causalgia, Type 2 occurs after a nerve injury.
Many cases of CRPS are the result of trauma to your arm or a leg, such as a fracture. Other major and minor traumas, including from surgeries, heart attacks, and even sprained ankles, can cause CRPS. Emotional stress can also play a role in developing CRPS.
How do you treat CRPS?
Dr. Glaser evaluates you to understand your condition better to formulate a diagnosis. Doing so helps him deliver personalized treatment to relieve your pain and restore function.
Treatment may include a combination of prescribed medication, physical therapy, or a variety of minimally invasive treatment options, such as spinal cord stimulation.
If you’re experiencing constant pain that makes touching or moving one of your limbs problematic, call or schedule an appointment online at Glaser Pain Relief Center right away to figure out the cause. It’s critical to treat CRPS early.
Glaser Pain Relief Center
Interventional Pain Management Specialist located in Encino, CA
Jeffrey B. Glaser, MD, at Glaser Pain Relief Center in Encino, California, can help curb the symptoms and alleviate pain associated with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The chronic leg and arm pain of CRPS, which often follows an injury, can make routine activities seem insurmountable. Without treatment, it can take over your life. As a leading interventional pain management specialist in the San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley, and Greater Los Angeles areas, Dr. Glaser will develop a treatment plan for you to take back your health and peace of mind. Call or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.