FAQ’s on Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) and (CRPS) Complex regional Pain Syndrome
It’s a chronic syndrome that is often characterized by severe pain, profuse sweating, swelling of tissues as well as making the affected area extremely sensitive to touch. It is a systematic neurological disease that affects any organ of the body.
For instance, it brings pathological changes to skin and bones. As such it can strike at any age with an average age of diagnosis being 42. It affects both men and women. Moreover, diagnosis of this chronic neurological syndrome in children can be carried at a mean age of 2 years.
What causes CRPS and RSD within a patient?
This chronic pain condition often affects one of the limbs or extremities such as the patient’s arms, hands or feet. It usually occurs after trauma to the limbs and other delicate organs. In addition, it is caused by malfunction of nerves- especially the peripheral and those found in the central nervous systems. Central nervous systems consist of brain and spinal cord.
The peripheral nervous system in the body receives the signal that originates from the brain and spinal cord and proceeds to diverge to all parts of the body. This nervous system is how the brain controls the motor functions of the limbs. Individuals with confirmed nerve damage – known as CRPS II- might suffer a long term disability. CRPS I is the condition without known or confirmed damaged, which is known also as RSD.
Who is susceptible to CRPS?
This chronic neurological condition can affect anyone. The most vital part of it is that it can strike at any age though it’s rare at elderly age and children below the age of 5. It affects both men and women but found that it affects women most. Based on some statistic done by researcher, it was found to be susceptible to individual at an average age of 41. In addition, it’s common in teenagers.
What are the causes of RSD?
The causes of both CRPS and RSD have not yet been specified in the medical field, as the presence of the condition can vary between two patients with similar experiences. There is though a commonly believed thought that they are directly caused by trauma or injury, fractures, medical procedures and damages of soft tissues.
It can also be triggered by sprain and immobilization of limbs. This disease often magnifies the impact or effect of the damage. The abnormal response of nerves tissues, especially peripheral abnormalities, in an individual affected by RSD, for instance, injuries of the small nerves fibers which contribute to inflammation and abnormalities of blood vessels might trigger this condition.
On the other hand, it has been suggested that genetics may have influenced RSD for a patient. Familial RSD can be carried from one generation to another as this can be inherited. In most cases, RSD can be developed by internal damage caused by problems associated with blood vessel and nerve entrapment or injury.
What are symptoms associated with CRPS?
The most common symptom is severe and prolonged pain which can make a person uncomfortable. The pain normally may feel like a burning sensation and can spread to encompass the entirety of a limb from the point of injury.
Patients with CRPS may experience changes in temperature, discoloration of the skin, and swelling within the affect limb. This is often caused by injury of the nerves which control temperature and the flow of blood within that limb, which are sometimes part of the nerve group damaged,
Medical history of an individual and an examination of the present symptoms will be compared to a medically accepted list of symptoms. If enough symptoms are exhibited, the patient can be thought of as having either CRPS or RSD. Treatment includes exercise which helps to improve flexibility, blood flow, functioning and strength of the limbs.
Denver pain management doctors offer several interventional procedures to help with CRPS. This may include a lumbar sympathetic block, which can help “break the cycle” of the sympathetic over activity and relieve pain. If the CRPS is affecting the upper extremity, a stellate ganglion block may be able to have the same pain relieving effect.
There are certain medications which may provide relief, including neurogenic ones such as Neurontin or Lyrica. As a last resort for CRPS, a spinal cord stimulator implant may provide pain relief. It’s not a cure, but in reality it is very difficult to “fix” CRPS. If the spinal cord implant can change the way the brain perceives the pain of CRPS, patients may experience increased function and it can completely change one’s life!
The Denver pain management doctors at Colorado Pain offer comprehensive treatment options for CRPS. Most insurance is accepted, and the providers are able to bring significant hope to those suffering from the chronic pain of CRPS.
Call (720) 306-9575 today!