Living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is undeniably difficult. CRPS hurts, and beyond the pain is the fear and frustration of dealing with a disabling and poorly understood condition. CRPS interferes with your ability to live life on your terms. At Rizio Liberty Lipinsky, we understand this syndrome imposes physical, emotional and financial tolls on those who fall victim to it. We are ready to help sufferers fight back.
What Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes CRPS as a chronic condition characterized by excessive or prolonged pain, changes in skin coloration or temperature, and swelling of the affected area. While most common in an arm, hand, leg or foot, this nerve disorder can involve any area of the body. Up to 70 percent of sufferers experience pain that spreads to other regions of the body.
Sadly, pain is a fact of life for the millions of people who suffer from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. In fact, the McGill Pain Index recognizes this condition as the most painful form of chronic pain. Also referred to as causalgia and reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, it is thought to be a result of nervous system dysfunction and can appear after some sort of trauma or injury.
What make CRPS so agonizing? With this condition, the amount and duration of pain far exceed what would commonly be expected from an injury. Symptoms often include:
- Burning pain and extreme sensitivity to touch
- Stiffness and swelling
- Deterioration in motor abilities
- Changes in skin color or texture
- Changes in skin temperature and sweatiness
- Changes in nail and hair growth
There is no cure for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. There isn’t even a clear diagnostic test. Instead, doctors take a full medical history and perform tests to eliminate other conditions. This makes getting a diagnosis difficult and arranging for adequate treatment challenging. Despite this, it is crucial for CRPS patients to persevere. While clinical studies have not yet confirmed it, anecdotal evidence suggests that early treatment can limit the progress of this devastating condition and improve the chances of achieving remission. This treatment can include physical and occupational therapy, psychological therapy, orthopedic or neurosurgical procedures, and various pain management therapies.
Unfortunately, obtaining the necessary care can be both challenging and expensive. Unfortunately, individuals suffering from CRPS often find themselves battling depression, anxiety and mood disorders as well, which adds to their challenges. Further complicating matters, stress may aggravate the condition.