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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Rincon Pain and Spine -  - Pain Management Practice

Rincon Pain and Spine

Pain Management Practice located in Tucson, AZ

After you fully heal from an injury, the pain is supposed to go away. But if you develop complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), the pain persists, gets worse, and is joined by other symptoms like swelling and muscle aches. The team at Rincon Pain and Spine in Tucson, Arizona, includes three CRPS specialists who have helped hundreds of patients successfully recover from the condition. At the first sign of CRPS, call the Rincon Pain and Spine office nearest you or request an appointment online.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

CRPS is a chronic pain disorder that usually affects one limb. The condition develops after you suffer one of two types of injuries. CRPS-I occurs following a musculoskeletal injury such as a fracture or sprain, while CRPS-II is caused by nerve damage. Both types share the same symptoms.

What symptoms develop due to CRPS?

The defining symptom of CRPS is pain that lasts long after the underlying problem heals. Your ongoing pain is also worse than the original injury, and for many, the pain is constant.

Patients often describe their pain as a burning or pins-and-needles sensation. The pain may spread to the entire arm or leg, even if the original injury only involved a finger or toe.

The affected limb may become hypersensitive, causing you to feel pain at the slightest touch. Most patients with CRPS develop swelling and experience changes in skin temperature and color. It’s also common to develop stiff joints, poor coordination, difficulty moving the limb, and tremors.

What treatment might I receive for CRPS?

The experts at Rincon Pain and Spine take an integrative approach to treat CRPS, using multiple therapies to relieve your symptoms. While there currently aren’t any medications specifically for CRPS, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat individual symptoms such as inflammation and sensitivity. 

Following a gentle exercise program helps maintain strength and mobility in the affected arm or leg. To further relieve your pain, your doctor may recommend one of several interventional therapies that target the nerves responsible for your pain.

These are only two examples of interventional procedures that can help CRPS:

Sympathetic nerve block

Sensory nerves from one area of your body enter your spinal cord at the same spot, passing through a cluster of nerves called a dorsal root ganglion (DRG). By injecting an anesthetic at the DRG, your doctor at Rincon Pain and Spine blocks all the nerves in the DRG, stopping pain messages from the affected limb before they reach the brain.

Spinal cord stimulation

A spinal cord stimulator is a medical device that sends a mild electrical impulse into nerves in your spine. The electrical impulse blocks or masks the nerve signals, so your brain doesn’t get the message that you feel pain.

If you develop ongoing pain in an arm or leg following an injury, call Rincon Pain and Spine or request an appointment online.