Complex regional pain syndrome can cause a variety of symptoms.
Swelling and throbbing pain can be felt in the limbs of the body. Skin changes in color or texture can be noticeable. Weakness and loss of movement of the affected area may occur. These symptoms can slowly disappear in time. Treating pain syndrome should start as early as possible to be the most effective.
Causes of complex regional pain syndrome usually occur from injury or trauma. The first type is called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD). It affects almost all of the people with CRPD. The second type happens from nerve damage. Both have similar symptoms.
The condition occurs from severe trauma to limbs from injury.
This can happen from an accident or surgery. Infections can cause people to develop pain syndrome. Physicians still don’t understand the reasons some people can have a severe injury to avoid having pain syndrome; however, it should be noted that vigorous passive range-of-motion exercises or the use of very heavy, strenuous weights may re-trigger the symptoms and it is important that the physical or occupational therapist work closely with the pain management specialist and referring physician in this regard.
Now that we understand so much more about this condition, we can begin erasing the medical stigma against it and concentrate on appropriate treatment.
– Dr. Alejandro Badia
Complications can develop for people that don’t get CRPS diagnosed and treated early by physicians. Atrophy can develop from deterioration of muscles and bones for people with limited limb movement caused by pain syndrome. Contracture is a condition that limits someone from being able to freely use extremities on injured limbs of the body. Fingers or toes can contract into a fixed position due to limited use of the affected limb.
A bone scan and MRI can help determine if a patient has CRPS. Sympathetic nervous system tests can help with the diagnosis. An experienced physician with a background on the syndrome can determine a lot of information from what the tests reveal.