Cindy: Complex regional pain syndrome, it doesn’t that like something that anyone would want to deal with. It is also called CRPS.This chronic pain condition can wreak havoc on your body. Doctor Rudy Gari from Florida Pain Relief Group joins us now to fill us in on what this is. Great to have you back.
Dr. Gari: Thank you.
Cindy: Complex regional pain syndrome sounds awful. What is it?
Dr. Gari: Yes, it does. And the reason why it is called complex regional pain syndrome is because it’s just that, it’s complex. This is something that has been going on Cindy, for a very long time. In fact, this goes all the way back in the Civil War. We have documented case studies of soldiers who actually had so much pain in their arm that they wanted to cut their arms off.
Cindy: Oh, okay.
Dr. Gari: It used to be called something called causalgia, it was called the reflex sympathetic dystrophy. The term that is used right now is called complex regional pain syndrome and what that really is, if you think about it, think about if you get pain in your hand or your arms, anywhere. Normally, that pain shoots up your brain and it stops. What happens with complex regional pain syndrome is that it becomes a vicious cycle. So the pain keeps going in circles, keeps going in circles and it never stops.
Cindy: Any particular area of the body that you see it most often?
Dr. Gari: It usually affects the extremities. It affects the arms, it affects the legs, it can actually spread, but the good thing Cindy is there’s a lot of things that we can do to help complex regional pain syndrome. One of the first things is that the earlier that we see it the better. And so it often travels through these nerves called sympathetic nerves. So what we do is what we call sympathetic blockade. We want to stop that seizure and that pain constantly going in circles but it’s a certain specialized field in medicine they use, physicians like myself, I’m an anesthesiologist, I’ve been treating this for many, many years and I’ve actually had great success. So there’s blocks, there’s something called sponcra [SP] stimulators and the earlier that we treat this the better it is for our patients.
Cindy: How often do you see somebody coming in with complex regional pain syndrome?
Dr. Gari: I just saw a patient this morning.
Dr. Gari: This patient has horrendous, horrendous leg pain and has all kinds of issues going on. Not just nerve pain it affects his vascular system and the pain is never ending. She’s has unfortunately, has this for many, many years.
Cindy: Oh gosh. Well, she doesn’t have to live with it for any more years, right?
Dr. Gari: No, no. We have her on a plan.
Cindy: What are you able to do for her? What are you going to do?
Dr. Gari: So what we do is we can give her some medications probably to help with that pain. We’re gonna go after and try to stop that seizure if you will of the pain syndrome, blocks and we’re considering a sponcro stimulator as well.
Cindy: So get to the source, right?
Dr. Gari: Absolutely, absolutely.
Cindy: Instead of just you know, treating the…
Dr. Gari: It can be cured.
Cindy: It can?
Dr. Gari: It can be cured, yes.
Cindy: Okay. So when is it time to come see you? When they feel like this is something that has been going on with them?
Dr. Gari: The sooner the better, the sooner the better. Have seen someone like myself because we can treat you in those things that we can do.
Cindy: So, usually fingers, legs, any…
Dr. Gari: Fingers, arms. It’s usually the arms or hands or legs. It usually begins as something as mild as just bumping into the wall somewhere that can cause, like, a seizure which will just continue, where we have to stop that vicious cycle.
Cindy: It goes on and on and on. Okay, good stuff Dr. Gari, that’s really good news for so many people. Florida Pain Relief Group has scheduled same day appointments so be sure to visit their website. It is floridapainreliefgroup.com or you can give them a call at 844-KICK-PAIN. Doctor, always good to see you. Thank you very much.
Dr. Gari: My pleasure.
Cindy: We’ll be right back.
Dr. Gari: Thank you.