Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), previously known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), is an uncommon nerve disorder which occurs after an injury either to a nerve or to tissue. It is characterized by burning pain out of proportion to the initial injury which progressively worsens over time. The symptoms can also include swelling, nail and hair changes, changes in skin temperature, and significant skin sensitivity. Often time these symptoms will spread to involve the entire limb. In some cases the pain can spread to the opposite limb as well.  

There are no specific lab tests to definitively diagnose complex regional pain syndrome, but your pain specialist can obtain a detailed history and physical and determine if your pain is a result of CRPS. Additional studies may be necessary to rule out other sources of your pain, and certain diagnostic criteria must be met to establish the diagnosis. 

Pain Treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD)

There is no cure for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, but many treatment options are available to control the pain and restore your quality of life. Pain treatment may include physical therapy to maintain strength and ROM and psychotherapy. Multiple different types of medications are available which can be effective in controlling the pain and symptoms of CRPS. Sympathetic nerve blocks can be performed at the origin of the sympathetic nerves to either the arms or legs. In some patients spinal cord stimulation (neuromodulation) can be used to decrease the pain signal and produce a more pleasant sensation over the previously painful area. An advantage to this pain treatment option is it can be trialed prior to implantation to determine effectiveness.

Our highly trained pain treatment physicians in Orange County care about improving your life and treating the pain caused by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. For more information on how Pain Specialists of Orange County can help treat Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, please contact us at 949-297-3838.