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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

If you have ongoing pain in your arm or leg, you could have complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). At Spine & Pain Specialists of the Carolinas in Charlotte, North Carolina, interventional pain medicine specialist Aashish Kumar, MD, D.ABA offers treatments to alleviate your discomfort without harsh medications or invasive procedures. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome, also known as CRPS, is a type of ongoing pain that often affects your leg or arm. It may develop after surgery, an injury, or a heart attack or stroke. While the cause of complex regional pain syndrome isn’t always clear, early detection and treatment is the best way to live a pain-free life.

What are the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?

Common signs and symptoms you might have with complex regional pain syndrome include:

  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Pain in your leg or arm
  • Discomfort in your hand or foot
  • Cold or touch sensitivity
  • Changes in skin temperature or color
  • Changes in skin texture
  • Hair or nail growth changes
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors
  • Joint damage
  • Decreased range of motion

See Dr. Kumar at the first sign of complex regional pain syndrome to ensure the best possible outcome.

What are the risk factors for complex regional pain syndrome?

Common factors that may increase your risk of developing complex regional pain syndrome include:

  • Nervous system injuries
  • Forceful trauma
  • Illnesses
  • Arm or leg trauma
  • Nerve damage
  • Fractures
  • Crushing injuries
  • Surgery
  • Heart attack
  • Ankle sprain
  • Genetics

However, the cause isn’t well understood, and CRPS isn’t common. Not everyone who gets injured develops CRPS.

How does my provider diagnose CRPS?

To find out if you have complex regional pain syndrome, Dr. Kumar asks about your symptoms and medical history. He checks your vital signs, complete a physical exam, and may recommend undergoing bone scans, sweat production testing, X-rays, MRIs, or other imaging procedures. 

How is complex regional pain syndrome treated?

Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Kumar may suggest trying one or more of the following treatments for complex regional pain syndrome:

  • Oral medications
  • Topical medicines
  • Intravenous ketamine
  • Injections
  • Heat therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Mirror therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Electrical nerve stimulation
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Acupuncture
  • Intrathecal drug pumps

Adopting healthy habits may also reduce pain associated with complex regional pain syndrome. Examples include reducing stress, getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Dr. Kumar tailors each complex regional pain syndrome treatment to match your personalized needs.

Call the Spine & Pain Specialists of the Carolinas office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about complex regional pain syndrome or get treated for it.