While there is no cure for CRPS, a combination of the treatments below can help manage related pain and issues.
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Bone-loss medications
- Heat therapy
- Mirror therapy
- Intravenous ketamine
- Intrathecal drug pumps
- Pain relievers (Over-the-counter)
Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome usually occur in your arm, leg, hand, or foot and can include:
- Burning sensation
- Changing hair and nail growth
- Changing skin color
- Changing skin texture
- Changing temperature
- Increased sensitivity (touch or cold)
- Joint stiffness
- Muscle spasms
- Persistent and excessive pain
*Signs and symptoms may persist for months to years
While there is no single test to diagnose CRPS, a combination of the procedures below are used to provide an accurate diagnosis:
- Bone scan: This involves injecting a radioactive substance into a vein allowing the bones to be seen with a camera.Save
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): The images might detect tissue changes.
- Medical history
- Physical exam
- Sympathetic nervous system tests: These are used to determine if there are disturbances in the sympathetic nervous system.
- X-rays: Help discover mineral loss in bones
- Tests to measure the amount of sweat on matching limbs, looking for different results that might indicate presence of CRPS
Common forms include:
Type 1 Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS 1) – This occurs after an illness or injury that does not leave obvious nerve damage in the affected limb. Nearly 90% of people with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome have this type.
Type 2 Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS 2) –This occurs after an illness or injury that does leave obvious nerve damage in the affected limb. Only 10% of people with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome have this type.
CRPS – NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)
Subgroups of CRPS include:
- Warm/Hot/Red CRPS
- Intermediate CRPS
- Cold/Blue CRPS
Common causes for CRPS can include:
- Limb immobilization (such as being in a cast)
- Minor medical procedures such as needle stick.
- Soft tissue injury (burns, cuts, or bruises)
- *Sometimes, CPRS develops without any apparent injury.
- It has been identified and described with over 200 different English names since the 16th century.
- It was a common issue during the American Civil War.
- It occurs more in women than men.
- There is no cure, but a pain-free recovery is possible.
- In severe cases, a disability can develop.