Common Symptoms That Could Mean You Are Suffering From Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Northwest Suburban Pain Center, CRPS, regional pain syndrome

If you suffer an injury to a part of your body without losing a limb, you expect the area to heal and restore its original function, but in the case of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), an area of your body continues to experience some pretty strange symptoms long after the injury has healed. These symptoms can not only be excruciating, they can completely steal your quality of life. These symptoms set CRPS apart as a very unique and also rare condition that may get misdiagnosed and therefore not properly treated. Understanding the symptoms is the first very important step to getting the right diagnosis for your pain and, in turn, getting relief. Let's explore five symptoms you need to be aware of when learning about CRPS.

1. Unrelenting burning or throbbing pain

Most notably, you experience intense pain that doesn't go away without treatment. Pain plays a very important role in your body, notifying the brain that something is wrong so that you can take action to fix the source of the pain. But in most cases of CRPS, it's as if your body doesn't realize that the initial injury has healed, and it continues to send your brain warnings of injury often when there is no injury. If pain were the only symptom, complex regional pain syndrome wouldn't be that unique, but many other symptoms define this condition.

According to the American Society of Surgery to the Hand, treatment of CRPS varies, depending on the severity and duration of symptoms as well as other contributing physical and psychological factors, which may call for:

Your doctor at Northwest Suburban Pain Center assesses the factors surrounding your condition to develop an individualized treatment plan for you.

2. Hot and cold sensitivity

The CRPS-impacted area has increased sensitivity to hot and cold, which you become very aware of when comparing the affected part of your body with other body parts.

3. Swelling and stiffness

You may experience swelling and stiffness in the local area that only makes the throbbing pain worse.

4. Skin changes

Among the condition-defining symptoms you may experience with CRPS, the changes in your skin may surprise you the most as your skin goes from "feeling" hot and clammy to feeling like you're freezing again. This goes back to the fact that the nerve signals going to the area are somehow disrupted, sending the wrong messages as your body responds. In addition to the feeling, those with CRPS may also have skin that:

All of this happens in a very localized area while the rest of your body acts normally. Along with these skin changes, you may also experience changes in the hair and nails in that area.

5. Spasms and weakness

Furthermore, you may experience muscle spasm and bouts of extreme weakness that render the impacted limb more or less useless. But the good news is that the worst of these symptoms typically occur in later stages of the disease, and when caught early, you have options.

How the doctors at Northwest Suburban treat CRPS

Your doctor at Northwest Suburban Pain Center administers a nerve block to get a handle on the condition before it progresses to irreversible atrophy. The doctor evaluates your condition to develop a plan of action to both relieve pain and reduce or reverse the condition's effect on your body. If you think you may have complex regional pain syndrome, don't wait until it gets worse. Contact Northwest Suburban Pain Center to schedule an appointment.

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