If you have severe and debilitating pain that gets in the way of your daily life, it is time to seek answers and treatment. One possible cause of chronic pain is called complex regional pain syndrome.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare condition where a person experiences debilitating and persistent pain. The cause of CRPS is not fully understood, but it is usually triggered by an injury that leads to long-lasting and severe pain. CRPS type 1 results from an injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, only 10% of people with CRPS have type 2, which is caused by a different nerve injury. The National Organization for Rare Disorders has found that CRPS develops in 5.46 persons out of 100,000 people in the United States per year. Although CRPS is rare, it is debilitating. If you have persistent pain, a pain specialist can help diagnose and treat your pain.
The pain of CRPS is usually localized to one limb. The pain may feel like burning, tingling, stabbing, or stinging. Your skin may feel sensitive to even the slightest touch. Other symptoms may include:
You might have flare-ups of severe pain, or the pain may be persistent. The pain of CRPS can be so severe that it may cause depression and even suicidal thoughts. It is essential to contact a doctor if you are suffering from debilitating pain.
CRPS is a diagnosis that involves first ruling out other possible causes. Your doctor may perform blood tests to rule out infections. An X-ray can rule out joint or bone problems. An MRI can rule out issues with tissue or bone. Your doctor will also perform a physical examination. They will ask you questions about how long the pain has persisted and what level of pain you are experiencing. Through physical examination and ruling out other possible diagnoses, your doctor may diagnose you with CRPS.
If you are diagnosed with CRPS or are suspected of having it, your doctor will refer you to a specialized pain clinic. A pain clinic will give you the specialized care that you require in the treatment of CRPS. Although there is no simple cure, your doctors at your pain clinic will find the right combination of physical rehabilitation strategies, medicine, and psychological support. The National Health Service has found that "around 85% of people with CRPS slowly experience a reduction in their pain and some of their symptoms in the first two years."
Pain management specialists will craft a personalized treatment plan to help decrease and manage your pain. Your doctor may recommend an exercise plan and techniques like desensitization or mirror visual feedback. Your doctor will also help you find the right medicine for you. Your psychological symptoms may be treated through cognitive behavioral therapy and talking to a therapist. Over time and with the proper care team, you can find relief from CRPS.
The Pain Center has a team of top pain management specialists in Boise. We care about helping you get back to your life before the pain got in the way. Please contact us for an evaluation, so we can start helping you manage your pain.
Our entire practice revolves around helping patients feel better. Pain is a fact of life, until it interferes with the joys of living. Sandra Thompson, MD and The Pain Center have innovative and comprehensive solutions to all forms of discomfort.
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