Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as Reflexive Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), is an uncommon disorder often seen as a result of traumatic injury or surgery. This pain is a type of chronic, long-lasting, pain. With chronic regional pain syndrome commonly, you may have unexplained pain that won’t go away. It may be severe, and it may spread. Chronic regional pain syndrome commonly affects the arms and legs on the side of the injury or surgery. Your healthcare provider will work with you to diagnose and treat your complex regional pain syndrome.
If you suffer from complex regional pain syndrome and would like additional information on this painful condition, please review the video and frequently asked questions below. If you are interested in or scheduled for a lumbar sympathetic block for complex regional pain syndrome and would like additional information on this interventional procedure please refer to our article on lumbar sympathetic block. Additionally, if you have questions or concerns do not hesitate to discuss them with your physician.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome FAQ
Complex regional pain syndrome is an uncommon disorder whose cause is not well understood. Complex regional pain syndrome often seen as a result of traumatic injury or surgery. Chronic regional pain syndrome commonly affects the arms and legs on the side of the injury or surgery. CRPS is characterized by sensitivity to light touch, burning pain, swelling, as well as changes in skin color, hair growth, or sweating.
To determine whether you are suffering from complex regional pain syndrome or from another condition, your provider will start with a comprehensive medical review and physical exam. Diagnostic tests that include x-rays, lab results, and/or MRIs will also be reviewed.
Complex regional pain syndrome pain may be treated in many ways including non-opioid adjuvant medications, nerve blocks, and complementary therapies such as desensitization physical therapy. Nerve pain may be treated as part of a care team model involving pain psychology, pain management, and primary care specialties working together.