Munson Health
 
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

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by Wood D

(CRPS; Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy [RSD]; Causalgia; Sympathetically Maintained Pain)

 

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of CRPS include:
  • Trauma
  • Fractures
  • Limb immobilization
  • Longer than normal healing time
  • The use of certain medications such as ACE inhibitors
 

Treatment

Treatment aims to relieve pain and improve function. Early therapy may lead to better outcomes. In some cases, the condition goes away on its own; this is more common in children. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical and occupational therapy may help reduce pain and increase mobility.

Counseling

Long-term pain often leads to depression or anxiety . Counseling is often required to help patients deal with chronic pain and loss of function.
Cognitive behavioral therapy may help you manage pain. It is a form of talk therapy that focuses on how the way you think affects the way you feel and act.

Medications

Your doctor may recommend the following medications:
  • Pain relievers
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Antiseizure medications
  • Topical pain relievers that are applied to the skin
  • Corticosteroids

Surgery

A surgical procedure called sympathectomy can permanently destroy sympathetic nerves. In some cases however, surgery may worsen symptoms.

Other Treatments

A device may be implanted in your spine. It will deliver electric stimulus to your spinal cord to manage pain.
 

RESOURCES

International Research Foundation for RSD/CRPS
http://www.rsdfoundation.org

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association
http://www.rsds.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

RSD Canada
http://www.rsdcanada.org

 

References


Complex regional pain syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 6, 2014. Accessed June 18, 2014.


Complex regional pain syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reflex%5Fsympathetic%5Fdystrophy/detail%5Freflex%5Fsympathetic%5Fdystrophy.htm. Updated April 16, 2014. Accessed June 18, 2014.


Harden RN, Bruehl SP. Diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome: signs, symptoms, and new empirically derived diagnostic criteria. Clinical Journal of Pain. 2006;22:415-419.


8/10/2007 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Zollinger PE, Tuinebreijer WE, Breederveld RS, Kreis RW. Can vitamin C prevent complex regional pain syndrome in patients with wrist fractures? A randomized, controlled, multicenter dose-response study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007;89:1424-1431.


11/9/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Cacchio A, DeBlasis, E, Necozione S, di Orio F, Santilla V. Mirror therapy for chronic complex regional pain syndrome type 1 and stroke. N Engl J Med. 2009;361(6):634-636.


4/24/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Wise JN, Weissman BN, et al. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria for chronic foot pain. Available at: http://www.acr.org/~/media/ACR/Documents/AppCriteria/Diagnostic/ChronicFootPain.pdf. Updated 2013. Accessed June 18, 2014.

 

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