Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is the cause of chronic pain for millions, yet these people suffer because they do not know about the latest effective treatments for this debilitating chronic medical condition.
According to Dr. Tamer Elbaz of Pain Physicians NY, CRPS is a relatively rare, chronic, progressive condition that affects appendages. “This medical condition is characterized by several symptoms but most often by severe pain that feel, to patients, like a constant burning sensation.”
Common symptoms of CRPS include:
- A chronic burning sensation
- Changes in skin color, texture, and temperature
- Increasing joint stiffness
- A loss of join mobility
Many individuals at risk for CRPS will not begin to experience symptoms until they are between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. However, people with CRPS sometimes mistake the early symptoms for age-related aches and pains. Because Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is exceptionally difficult to diagnose, it is virtually impossible for researchers and physicians to document reliable estimates concerning how many people may be affected by CRPS. Tracking is further complicated by the fact that many suffering from CRPS never discuss their symptoms with a physician. However, the National Health Service estimates that approximately 1 in every 2,000 accidents or traumas results in CRPS.
There are two known types of CRPS. Understanding the causes and treatments of both are important to live pain free.
Type 1 CRPS has also been known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Sudeck’s Atrophy, Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy and Algoneurodystrophy. This type of CRPS is generally triggered by an injury that is initially thought to be fairly trivial. A sprained or fractured ankle, for example. No previous damage to the painful area needs to have occurred.
Type 2 CRPS has also been known as Causalgia. This painful condition is thought to be triggered by a relatively severe injury, such as a broken bone or a surgical procedure. Additional causes of Type 2 CRPS include serious infections. The single symptom common to all Type 2 CRPS is clear evidence of nerve damage.
Though pain specialists have not come to a complete consensus as to what causes either type of CRPS, most doctors agree that CRPS is often the result of either some form of joint or bone injury or surgical procedure.
The Three Stages of CRPS
Stage 1 of CRPS generally lasts for up to 3 months and is typified by severe, burning pain in at least one limb. This pain may also be accompanied by muscle spasms, joint stiffness.
Stage 2 of CRPS can last from 3 to 6 months. Pain worsens and alterations in skin texture and color can occur. There can also be significant loss of muscle tone and the patient may find it difficult to use the effected limb.
Stage 3 of CRPS signifies changes that may not be reversible. Substantial loss of muscle tone, contorted bones and stiffening joints can all occur at this stage. Patients who get prompt treatment in earlier stages are unlikely to reach Stage 3.
Because symptoms associated with CRPS will not heal on their own and can often worsen when not treated, those suffering from any of symptoms of CRPS should schedule a consultation with Pain Physicians NY. Call (718) 998-9890 today.