We know that if you are living with complex regional pain syndrome, there are no words to describe the pain, the frustration, and the depression that you bravely endure. Every day of your life, you need to be a fighter. What Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome? Complex regional pain syndrome is a condition that usually affects a person’s limbs. This usually happens after a person has experienced an injury or a trauma to the limb. Researchers believe that during the initial trauma, the peripheral nerves of the limb are damaged, and so they continually send signals back to the nervous system. CRPS is categorized by the following symptoms:
- Prolonged Pain
- Mild or Dramatic Skin Color Changes
- Temperature Fluctuations
- Inflammation or Swelling in the Affected Area
- Changes in the Way Your Nails and Hair Grow
- Joint Stiffness
- Abnormal Movement
It’s likely that you have experienced some, if not all, of these symptoms. But you clearly understand that this list of symptoms only scratches the surface of what it is like to live with complex regional pain syndrome.
For many, being diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome feels like the end of everything. Their ambitions, their dreams, their relationships, and their ability to enjoy even the simplest things melts away. It is not uncommon for sufferers to say that they felt like a part of themselves had been lost or had died.
What Causes CRPS?
When dealing with the extreme pain brought about by CPRS, it is only natural that a person will ask themselves, why did this happen to me? Unfortunately, the answer provided by most doctors is not reassuring. The truth is that doctors are not 100 percent about what causes some individuals to end up with CPRS while other individuals who have the exact same trauma do not. What they do know is that in more than 90 percent of the cases, there is a clear moment of trauma or injury.
The most common triggers are:
- Soft Tissue Injury
- Limb Immobilization
- Surgical Procedures
CRPS is an abnormal response on the part of your nervous system. Your nervous system is responding to the injury you sustained in the same way the immune system of an individual who is allergic to something responds when they eat that food.
Researchers feel that some people may have a genetic disposition toward the disease. They have seen some small family clusters of individuals who have developed CRPS.
While there are cases of individuals who have developed CRPS without injuries, doctors believe that in many of these cases, the injuries were actually internal. This means that a person may have had an infection, and the infection caused a small internal injury. Or there might have been a problem with their blood vessels or a nerve that was pinched, resulting in the development of CRPS.
Although knowing why you have CRPS does not remove the pain, for many sufferers it does give them a level of comfort. For many, it is better to know why they are in pain, as opposed to suffering and constantly wondering why this happened to them.
What Is My Prognosis?
It is only logical for you to want to know, can I get better? Will I recover? Or will this pain be a constant part of my life? The outcome of CRPS differs from person to person. What research has shown is that the earlier you get the treatment and rehabilitation you need, the better chance you have of managing, minimizing, and in some rare cases removing the pain.
How We Can Help Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Because of its sudden onset, intense pain, and long duration, CRPS can have a traumatic effect not only on your physical well-being but also on your emotional and mental health. You have had enough of dealing with doctors and other medical professionals who either do not believe that you are in pain, offer you no hope for treating the pain, or who treat you like you are exaggerating your symptoms.
We understand that the pain you experience is real. We also understand that the pain you are experiencing is uniquely yours. For this reason, the very first step we take when you come into our office is to listen. We want to hear you and learn from your experience. Based on what you tell us and what our medical professionals observe, we are going to work with you to create a treatment program designed to provide short-term results and long-term results.
Our goal is to help you regain as much of your quality of life as you possibly can. Living with CRPS does not have to define who you are. Let us work with you to get you back to living a happy and productive life.