Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome services offered in Newburyport, Danvers and Gloucester, MA

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) causes severe pain and often increased pain sensitivity, sometimes making even normal or gentle touches unbearably painful. At Pain Management Centers of New England, the knowledgeable pain specialists understand the unique effects of CRPS. They offer the most advanced and innovative CRPS treatments to alleviate chronic pain and restore your quality of life. The practice has locations in Newburyport, Danvers, and Gloucester, Massachusetts, so call the one nearest you or book an appointment through online scheduling today.

What is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?

CRPS describes severe and long-lasting inflammation and pain following an arm or leg injury. The two categories of CRPS are:

Type I

Type I CRPS happens without known nerve damage, commonly following an illness or injury that didn’t cause direct nerve damage.

Type II

Type II CRPS follows a nerve injury.

Both types of CRPS can be either acute (short-lived) or chronic (typically lasting over six months).

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

Limb pain is the hallmark sign of CRPS. It’s typically a burning, stinging, or prickling pain deep within the arm or leg. Some people experience a squeezing sensation. Rarely, some people experience “mirror pain,” meaning they have the same pain in the opposite limb. 

It’s fairly common to have heightened pain reactions with CRPS. For example, bumping into an object with the affected limb may feel far more painful than it normally would. Sometimes, even a light touch may cause a severe pain response.

You could also experience other problems in the limb, such as: 

  • Numbness
  • Skin swelling
  • Limb stiffness and difficulty moving your limb
  • Different skin temperature
  • Skin color changes
  • Shiny or thin skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Changes in hair and nail growth

Your symptoms, especially the pain, can increase over time. It’s important to seek treatment early in the course of the condition to avoid decreased use of the limb.

How is CRPS treated?

CRPS treatment focuses on relieving your pain and preventing long-term difficulties like losing the use of your limb. Pain Management Centers of New England uses a comprehensive approach, offering pharmacological, rehabilitative, and interventional treatments in one facility. 

Some of the different treatment approaches include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Injections such as stellate ganglion or lumbar sympathetic nerve blocks 
  • Neuromodulation such as spinal cord or peripheral nerve stimulation

While there aren’t any FDA-approved medications specifically for CRPS, many drugs can help with symptoms, such as anti-seizure drugs and antidepressants. 

CRPS is different for each person, and the team recognizes that you have unique needs. They work with you to give you the most effective treatment plan and support your long-term wellness. 

To learn more about the newest innovative treatments for CRPS, call the Pain Management Centers of New England location nearest you or book an appointment online today.