Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a condition in which the person suffering undergoes severe and persistent pain that can cause problems with daily activities, difficulties in walking and make movement hard to manage. Not much is known and understood about CRPS, and this article will look at the symptoms, causes and treatments that are available for those who do experience it.
What are the symptoms of CRPS?
The symptoms expressed by someone suffering from CRPS will differ according to the cause or trigger of the pain itself. The table below outlines a number of frequently observed symptoms, displayed by individuals diagnosed with CRPS:
·Persistent Pain in a localized area of the body
·Difficulties walking or moving
·Feelings of discomfort when leaning or applying pressure to an area of the body
·Tenderness around the injured or painful area
Although CRPS is usually confined to one area of the body, it may be felt in multiple or extended regions of the body, depending on the nature or trigger of the pain.
What causes CRPS?
CRPS is usually linked with a severe accident or injury that occurs, putting the body under a high amount of strain, stress and pressure. Such accidents can be a result of a car crash, motor bike accident or a serious fall from a height or down steps. It is thought that the chronic pain originates due to damage caused within the nerve cells and pain receptors. This results in the feeling of pain being given off whenever the injured area is moved, touched or undergoes pressure.
What are the treatments available for those with CRPS?
The table below outlines a number of treatment and rehabilitation procedures available to aid those suffering from CRPS:
Physiotherapy – Regular and closely monitored exercising of the injured area can aid the repair of any damage and ensure that the injured area does not waste away and remains strong and functional. This may also help the patient to become more accustomed to the pain.
Hydrotherapy– Exercises in water reduce the amount of pressure and strain experienced by the limb and may give the patient some relief in movement.
Medication – Pain relief medication is often prescribed to those suffering CRPS, although this should be monitored because too many pain killers can have other side effects such as increased headaches or damage to the liver and kidneys.