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At Pain Physicians NY, we treat a variety of chronic pain diseases. One of those diseases is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, which is a painful and sometimes debilitating disease that responds best to treatment when caught in its early stages. Although not completely understood, CRPS sometimes develops after a major traumatic injury to a limb, although minor injuries as well as emotional stress can also trigger the onset of CRPS. Interestingly, the affected limb does not always develop CRPS; rather the response is sometimes in the opposing limb. Also, the injury may be to a small area, such as a finger or toe, but CRPS will affect the entire arm or leg.

One theory is that CRPS is a result of dysfunctional communication between the central and peripheral nervous systems which precipitates an inflammatory reaction in a limb. We see CRPS more in young women, but the disease can strike both men and women at any age.

CRPS has three stages and the symptoms vary by stage.

Stage 1

The first stage can last up to three months. Symptoms include:

  • Intense, burning pain.
  • Increased skin sensitivity.
  • Changes in skin color, temperature and texture.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Swelling and stiffness in the joints.

Stage 2

The second stage also lasts up to three months and is characterized by:

  • Intensified pain.
  • Weakened muscles.
  • Stiff and swollen joints.
  • Deterioration in the fingernails and softening of the bones.

Stage 3

By the third stage, the effects are irreversible. At this point, pain has become intolerable and constant, limbs may become atrophied and contorted, and the changes to the skin, nails and hair become permanent.

Obviously, treatment is most efficacious when started early in the onset and well before the disease reaches stage three. At times, the disease will abate on its own; however, as a precaution, treatment and rehabilitation, if necessary, should be started immediately upon diagnosis.

OutpatientPhysical therapy is highly recommended for CRPS to increase the range of motion and restore functionality to the affected limb and eliminate the possibility of the disease progressing to the third stage.

Our caring and dedicated staff at Pain Physicians NY makes us the best pain management clinic in New York. If you or a loved one has CRPS, please call us for an appointment immediately. Do not delay in seeking treatment for this serious and debilitating disease. Call us now at (718) 998-9890 and get started on your CRPS treatment today.

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