What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?
CRPS is usually caused by an injury to the bones, joints, tissue, or nerves. The original injury can range from being severe, such as a broken bone, but also be as minor as a sprain. CRPS symptoms may not appear right after an injury. Stress can increase the pain. Evolving research suggests that CRPS may result from an injury to nerves.
Pain may spread more proximally from the initial injury site and may be worsened by emotional stress. Early detection and treatment are very much needed. Common symptoms of CRPS may include:
- Discoloration of the skin
- Loss of range of motion
- Abnormal sweating
- Extreme sensitivity to even mild stimuli, such as clothing, touch, or even wind
Causes and Risks
Again, potential causes of CRPS range from severe to even minor injuries. Even relatively long periods of immobility can result in CRPS. 6It most often occurs in adults between the ages 20-40 and generally affects women more than men.
Treatment and Prevention
It is important to determine the source of the pain as well as exclude other causes of pain when considering CRPS as a diagnosis. Diagnosis may involve the following:
- A thorough clinical evaluation, including a complete medical history, evaluation of your symptoms, and a physical examination.
- Workup may include x-rays, MRI, CT scans, and electromyography (EMG)