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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome is believed to be the result of problems in the central or peripheral nervous systems. It can strike at any age and affects both men and women. Symptoms of the disorder include chronic pain, increased skin sensitivity, and changes in skin color or texture. Since there is no cure, treatments are aimed at relieving pain and controlling symptoms. Psychotherapy, medications, and physical therapy are just a few of the treatment options available at this time.

What Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that is believed to be the result of problems in the central or peripheral nervous systems.
 
Typical features of complex regional pain syndrome include dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected limb or body part, accompanied by intense burning pain, skin sensitivity, sweating, and swelling.
 

Types

There are two types of complex regional pain syndrome:
 
  • Complex regional pain syndrome type I (also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy or RSD)
  • Complex regional pain syndrome type II (also known as causalgia).
     
"Causalgia" was a term first used during the Civil War to describe the intense, hot pain felt by some veterans long after their wounds had healed.
 
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I
CRPS type I is frequently triggered by tissue injury; the term describes all patients with the above-mentioned symptoms but with no underlying nerve injury.
 
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II
Patients with CRPS type II experience the same symptoms, but their cases are clearly associated with a nerve injury.
 
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CRPS

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