Also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, CRPS, or complex regional pain syndrome, is a condition that is signified by enhanced levels of impulses being sent by the nerves to a particular area of the body, resulting in chronic pain. It most commonly affects the extremities and is often the result of heart attack, stroke, injury, or surgery, but the resultant pain is more severe than that caused by the initial injury.
What Can Cause CRPS?
All evidence points to complex regional pain syndrome having no single cause, but instead being a culmination of multiple conditions that have similar symptoms. Some research has revealed that it is caused by the body becoming oversensitive to a group of messengers in the nervous system known as catecholamines. In those instances where CRPS is the result of an injury, the symptoms may be the result of the immune system causing inflammation that causes the affected area to be swollen, red, and warm. These points together indicate that CRPS is caused by the healing process becoming disrupted.
How Will I Know If I’m Experiencing CRPS?
There are a number of symptoms you can watch for to determine if you should speak to your pain management doctor in Las Vegas, NV. The most obvious symptom is bouts of intense pain that last for long periods and increase in intensity rather than improving over time. This is especially true if you’re experiencing this pain where an injury occurred, and the intensity is out of proportion to the original injury. You can also watch for:
- Pain that can be described as “burning”
- Joints that are swollen or stiff
- Impacted mobility due to the pain limiting movement
- Hair or nails growth changes, including no hair growth or accelerated hair growth.
- Temperature changes in the skin, especially in the extremities. (Can be colder or warmer)
- The texture of skin changes, becoming shiny and thin.
- Excessive sweating
- Blotchy skin (red, purple, and/or pale)
How Will My Physician Identify Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Identifying CRPS is really a matter of ruling out everything else, as there are no tests that can definitively identify this particular condition. Tests such as triple-phase bone scans and applied stimulus are often used to determine the location and cause of existing pain. The following set of symptoms are often used to diagnose CRPS:
- Pain in the area of a previous injury
- Pain in excess of that expected from an injury
- Appearance changes in the area affected.
- No other discernible source of the pain or appearance change.
If you suspect that you may be experiencing CRPS it may be time to consult with your physician at the Khavkin Clinic. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome can severely impact your quality of life, but you don’t have to live with it. Contact Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin for a consultation and exam, and you can start moving towards an enhanced quality of life with the Khavkin Clinic.