Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CPRS is a chronic pain condition that usually affects a person’s limb, be it the foot, leg, arm or leg, often after an injury. The condition’s primary symptom is pain, and while you can avoid using the limb or be protective of the sore region, this approach becomes useless after a few days or weeks. The limb can become more painful and stiffer and even less able to move the affected part.

That’s because when you reduce the movement of the affected limb, the brain receives less of the vital information regarding its condition. Over time, it becomes harder for the brain to recognize the limb as well as its position in space. As a result, your limb movement doesn’t feel easy or normal and you can even feel like it doesn’t belong to you.

Living with CPRS

When you have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, the pain and other symptoms tend to be a lot more than expected for the injury. In some cases, you might be told that it’s all in your head, which isn’t helpful or accurate.

Physicians do not fully know the underlying reasons for CRPS development, but its symptoms, including pain, can worsen if:

-The temperature is cold

-You are under emotional stress

-You are in an environment you’re unfamiliar with

Light movements and touch can be extremely painful, which is very distressing. Also, the pain can spread, making other body parts sensitive as well. Moving the body becomes harder, not just for the affected region but the entire limb, or even half of your body. Fortunately, these symptoms can improve with the help of rehabilitation.

So, how do you manage and treat CRPS?

Given the meager research done on this condition, there is no perfect way to treat Complex Regional Pain Syndrome yet. However, there are a few clinical guidelines from CRPS clinical experts that suggest a few treatments that can help in additions to several other things that you can try to combat the condition.

Consider going through our pain management modules, which are meant to help counter the typical factors when the condition persists.

More often than not, you’ll need to consult your GP or trained health care professional. The goal is to get the right advice and treatment at the right time and by the right professionals. This team includes:

-An occupational therapist or physiotherapist skilled in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome management. You should ask whether they have this experience or if they can refer you to a practitioner who does.

-A General Practioner who comprehends the condition and can recommend the right treatment.

-A Pain Medicine Specialist. This is optional, but they can be quite valuable in offering expert advice in regards to tweaking the medications and techniques for the best results.

CRPS patients require good medical treatment and support and while this isn’t always possible, especially for those in remote regions, there are several things that you can do to improve the symptoms.

That being said, here are a few recommended treatment combinations or strategies that you may find helpful in managing your condition.

-Relaxation techniques such as breathing and yoga

-Pacing activity

-Mindfulness-based relaxation

-Coping and managing the pain

-Activity and movement

But what about rehabilitation? Well, experts recommend rehabilitation therapy as the initial step of treatment as it plays a vital role in recovery. This involves using a team of earlier mentioned practitioners. There is an array of other things that these experts can help you with including:

-Helping you gain a better understanding of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome symptoms.

-Creating a workout routine to help get the limb moving

-Teaching strategies that help manage the condition’s symptoms

-Utilizing techniques that help alleviate the sensitivity of the affected regions and also help stop the pain from spreading.

In some situations, particularly where the condition has worsened, the activities will be centered on training how the brain perceives the affected region, rather than actually moving the limb. A few examples of this form of treatment and rehabilitation include graded motor imagery and mirror therapy. Even though we cannot say that these activities have been proven to be effective, due to insufficient data, there is some promising evidence that shows that the procedures can help.

Other than therapy, your GP can prescribe pain relievers, corticosteroids, intravenous ketamine, anticonvulsants, antidepressants or even bone-loss medications to help cope and treat the condition.

Contact Brian Barr Solicitors to discuss any medical claims.

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