Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome



If you think you may have chronic regional pain syndrome you need to know the difference between it and other similar conditions. Complex regional pain syndrome and myofascial pain syndrome are different in subtle ways. Once you have a firm understanding of this specific disorder you will know if you need to seek treatment and what you can expect.

What is Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome?

This chronic muscle pain disorder was formerly referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy. The primary symptom of this disorder is intense pain and unresolved pain in disproportion to your initial injury. Rather than your pain getting better as time passes it gets worse. Most often this type of chronic muscle pain affects your arms, legs, hands, or feet. It is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 35 and it affects more women than men.

What Causes Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome?

Most experts believe that this chronic muscle pain disorder is caused by a misfiring of the nervous system. That said, other experts believe that it may be caused by an abnormal response of the immune system. Unfortunately, there is no concrete answer as to what causes this complex disorder.

What are the Symptoms?

Chronic muscle pain is just one of the symptoms that you may experience with this disorder. You may also experience changes in your skin including changes in the color, temperature, and texture. You may also experience tingling, numbness, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joints or muscles. Later symptoms would include changes in hair and nail growth and a limited ability to move the affected body part. As with complex regional pain syndrome and myofascial pain syndrome the symptoms of this disorder vary greatly from person to person.

How Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome is Diagnosed and Treated?

If you believe that you have this disorder you need to see a doctor for diagnosis and possible treatment. When you visit your doctor they will begin by taking a complete medical history. This will involve questions regarding any injuries or illnesses you may have experienced. They will also perform a physical examination and evaluate your and symptoms carefully. Although there is no test to detect this disorder you doctor will order diagnostic tests to rule out another condition.

Once your doctor has determined that you do in fact have CRPS they will develop a treatment regimen for you to participate in. The treatment plan they develop will be focused on alleviating the chronic muscle pain that is caused by the condition. Some of the treatment methods they may use for you would include medication, physical therapy and spinal cord stimulation.

If you are diagnosed with chronic regional pain syndrome it is important to know that recovery is possible. The chronic muscle pain that this disorder causes can be dramatically improved or altogether eliminated in many cases. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to the outcome of your situation, so if you suspect that you have this disorder you need to seek treatment immediately.


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