Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
(CRPS; Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy [RSD]; Causalgia; Sympathetically Maintained Pain)
- CRPS 1, previously called reflex sympathetic dystrophy or RSD, has no observable nerve damage.
- CRPS 2, previously called causalgia, produces similar symptoms after a verified nerve injury has occurred.
|Complex Regional Pain Syndrome|
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- Sensitivity to touch or even a light breeze
- Swelling in the arm or leg
- Unusual sweating patterns
- Excessively warm or cool skin
- Hair and nails that become brittle and crack
- Abnormal movement in the arm or leg, such as a tremor, jerking, or spasms
- A pale, blue, and/or shiny look to the skin
- Limited joint movement
- An initial traumatic or painful event
- Pain in the upper or lower extremities
- A recent heart attack or stroke
- Continuing pain in the limb that is out of proportion to any stimulus, such as pain with even light touch
- Swelling, changes in skin blood flow, movement problems, or temperature changes only in the affected limb
- No other cause for the symptoms
Physical and Occupational Therapy
- Pain relievers
- Antiseizure medications
- Topical pain relievers that are applied to the skin
International Research Foundation for RSD/CRPS http://www.rsdfoundation.org
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association http://www.rsds.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
RSD Canada http://www.rsdcanada.org
Complex regional pain syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 6, 2014. Accessed June 18, 2014.
Complex regional pain syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reflex%5Fsympathetic%5Fdystrophy/detail%5Freflex%5Fsympathetic%5Fdystrophy.htm. Updated April 16, 2014. Accessed June 18, 2014.
Harden RN, Bruehl SP. Diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome: signs, symptoms, and new empirically derived diagnostic criteria. Clinical Journal of Pain. 2006;22:415-419.
8/10/2007 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Zollinger PE, Tuinebreijer WE, Breederveld RS, Kreis RW. Can vitamin C prevent complex regional pain syndrome in patients with wrist fractures? A randomized, controlled, multicenter dose-response study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007;89:1424-1431.
11/9/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Cacchio A, DeBlasis, E, Necozione S, di Orio F, Santilla V. Mirror therapy for chronic complex regional pain syndrome type 1 and stroke. N Engl J Med. 2009;361(6):634-636.
4/24/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Wise JN, Weissman BN, et al. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria for chronic foot pain. Available at: http://www.acr.org/~/media/ACR/Documents/AppCriteria/Diagnostic/ChronicFootPain.pdf. Updated 2013. Accessed June 18, 2014.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014 -
- Update Date: 06/18/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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