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Home  /  Conditions   /  Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) / Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/ RSD Explained

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NHS experts say Complex Regional Pain Syndrome has been a recognized medical condition for over 150 years! Unfortunately, even though it’s been around for eons, the exact cause is still unclear.

So what is CRPS?

Medical News Today states this condition is long-term chronic and progressive, and is characterized by incredible pain, changes to your skin, and inflammation. Many times people describe it as a burning sensation that attacks the feet, hands, and often the entire limbs.

An older terminology for this condition is reflex sympathetic dystrophy or RSD. Experts suggest injury or surgery may cause Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. However there is no solid proof, just suggestive. The two types of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome / Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) are CRPS type 1 and CRSP type 2.

CRSP 1 – This is where no damage has occurred. Medical professionals believe it’s triggered by a sprained or damaged tissue (an ankle for instance).

CRSP 2 – Also referred to as causalgia. It’s more serious and often caused by a broken bone or a major operation. Nerve damage is clear-cut here.

Understand there is no cure. The treatment options often include a medley of physical exercise and medications. Prognosis seems favorable the earlier you get it. And because RSD is so difficult to diagnosis it’s very hard to get accurate numbers of people affected. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy can target anyone but usually pops up in people between the ages of forty and sixty. And women are more likely to suffer from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome than gentlemen.

***Understanding and acting on the CRPS symptoms is critically important.
A Few Prevalent Signs of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Are…

*Intense Pain – This is where the pain in continuous. A burning and electrical shock pain that affects part or all of the limb. Pain is unexpected and often caused by an injury. You could sprain your wrist and feel intense nasty burning pain and wonder what in the world is going on.

You may also find this area is extra sensitive to heat, cold, and being touched or bumped. Take note if the pain becomes incredibly intense for long periods of time you may have to watch for muscular atrophy. This is where your muscle begins to waste away because you are in so much agony you can’t use it.

*Skin Color Change – Here you may have blotchiness or lines on your skin. It may change from ghost-whit pale to pink. The skin may even get bluish in color.

*Temperature Changes in Skin – You could flip from sweaty to clammy, and then dry to moist. With no rhyme or reason.

*Hair and Nails – You may notice your nails growing too fast or on the opposite, too slow!

*Texture of Skin – Thin and glossy.

*Motility and Mobility – You may find it very difficult to move or use the affected arm or leg.

*Joints – They may be painful to move, stiff, swollen, and creaky.

Experts from the Mayo Clinic report there are 3 recognized stages with this disease

Experts from the Mayo Clinic report there are 3 recognized stages with this disease…

STAGE 1 – RSD disorder usually lasts up to 3 months. You will have painful burning in your limb. There may be stiffness in your joints, quick to grow hair and nails, or muscle spasms that are unannounced but unforgiving. As well your skin temperature may fluctuate like the wind.

STAGE 2 – The timeline here is 3-6 months where your pain may intensify, along with stiffness and inability to move.

STAGE 3 – This is where the changes that have occurred are permanent. The muscle tone starts diminishing, bones may get distorted, and the joints just don’t work anymore. If you seek treatment early on you should never reach this stage.

VIP! An action pain management plan is your number one priority because if you address the pain you can deal with the issue! Omega Pain Management, is one of the best pain clinics in Knoxville, TN and is under the leadership of pain management specialist Dr. Igor Smelyansky.┬áHe is one of the best Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Knoxville specialists. And even though the exact causes of RSP are foggy, if you are diagnosed with the condition it’s critically important to get your pain under control. Call 865-337-5137 today and take action!