What is CRPS?


Taken from my trusty site American RSD Hope. Here is a basic run down of a very complicated disease. Because the signal from our nerves to our brains works differently person to person this also means that our symptoms and medications are different. What works for one person for pain relief may cause severe reactions in another. This is what makes it so tricky to get some pain relief. There is no cure for CRPS



Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, formerly known as RSD or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a progressive disease of the Autonomic Nervous System, and more specifically, the Sympathetic Nervous System. The pain is characterized as constant, extremely intense, and out of proportion to the original injury. The pain is typically accompanied by swelling, skin changes, extreme sensitivity, and can often be debilitating. It usually affects one or more of the four limbs but can occur in any part of the body and in over 70% of the victims it spreads to additional areas.

CRPS is ranked as the most painful form of chronic pain that exists today by the McGill Pain Index.


There are FOUR Main Symptoms/Criteria of CRPS:
1.Constant chronic burning pain – even though the affected area may feel cold to the touch, to the patient it feels as though it is literally on fire. This symptom also includes allodynia which is an extreme sensitivity to touch, sound, temperature, and vibration.
2.Inflammation – this can affect the appearance of the skin, bruising, mottling, tiny red spots, shiny, purplish look, etc.
3.Spasms – in blood vessels and muscles of the extremities.
4.Insomnia/Emotional Disturbance – includes the major changes to the limbic system such as short-term memory problems, concentration difficulties, sleep disturbances, confusion, etc.
There are a great many additional symptoms that can also occur over the course of the disease. Not every patient will have all symptoms. Symptoms may change over time due to the stage the patient is in, the medications the patient is on, and/or the treatments the patient is receiving.



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