Complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic nerve disorder. Getting early treatment for this condition is very important, because atrophy and tightened muscles can develop otherwise. These side effects are possible because complex regional pain syndrome prevents you from using your limb as often as you need.
There are two main types of complex regional pain syndrome.
- Type 1: Occurs following an illness or injury where no nerve injury occurred.
- Type 2: Follows a nerve injury.
Typically, the pain that results is more severe than the injury or illness itself. Complex regional pain syndrome is diagnosed with a medical examination and thorough questions about your symptoms.
- Severe pain
- Throbbing or burning
- Change in skin temperature
- Muscle spasms
- Joint stiffness
- Decreased mobility
The symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome are not the same for every patient, and they can change over time. Typically, pain becomes worse during stressful periods. The symptoms can affect the entire limb and can even spread to the opposite limb.
The best treatment for complex regional pain syndrome depends on the type that is experienced. For some patients, spinal cord stimulation can help to decrease the pain signal. This type of treatment is available as a trial before a permanent implantation is performed. Additionally, sympathetic nerve blocks can help by blocking pain signals from being sent from the affected nerve to the brain.