Complex regional pain syndrome is a type of chronic pain which usually targets the arms and legs of the patient. Normally, this condition develops after a person suffers from an injury, a stroke or a heart attack. However, the severity of this pain and the initial pain of the injury may differ. CRPS is not very common. The cause of this condition cannot be clearly understood. However, it is believed that an abnormality of the central and peripheral nervous system can cause this problem. In the case of complex regional pain syndrome, treatment at the early stage is the most beneficial as full recovery and remission is possible only then. The severity and other symptoms of the condition may vary for every person.
This condition normally occurs in two types and has similar signs and symptoms, however the cause may be different for every person. In the type 1 CRPS which is also known as the sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, the condition occurs after the injury or illness does not directly affect or damage the nerves of the affected limbs. The type 2 which is referred to as causalgia, the symptoms are very similar to that of type 1. However, in type 2 CRPS the injury affects a nerve directly.
In order to treat the problem of CRPS, a thorough physical examination and diagnosis is required. Bone exams, sympathetic nervous system tests, X rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is needed to initiate the process. According to some evidence, early treatment can be helpful in regulating the problem. Different treatment combinations are required for different patients, according to their needs.
Patients can take medications to help manage the problem. Over the counter pain relievers, like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, may help reduce the pain and the inflammation. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants can also be used to treat the pain which originates from a damaged nerve. According to some research, intravenous ketamine may also substantially alleviate the pain. Sympathetic nerve blocking medication can also be helpful in many cases.
Therapy sessions like heat therapy, topical anelgesics, physical therapy, mirror therapy, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), spinal cord stimulation, biofeedback and intrathecal drug pumps can all help the person who is suffering from the problem to reduce the inflammation and pain.
Patients seeing symptoms like sensitivity to anything cold, muscle spasms, tremors, joint stiffness, changes in skin texture, that is alternating between sweating and feeling cold, decreased abilities of moving the affected body part and swelling in the affected area are all eligible for the treatment.
Any individual who does not show any symptoms of the problem is not eligible for the treatment.
Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin may have side effects like mild itching or rash, stomach upset, bloating, gas, diarrhea, ringing in the ears, constipation, dizziness among many other issues. Antidepressants have side effects like dry mouth, hallucinations, drowsiness, difficulty in urinating, constipation and others.
Patients may regularly need therapies and have to be on medication for as long as prescribed by the doctors. In order to see an improvement, patients need to have a healthy lifestyle which includes a good and balanced diet.
This condition of Complex regional pain syndrome can only be regulated best in the initial stages and has a possibility of getting worse if diagnosed at a later stage. Therfore, it is best advised to get yourself checked if you have an injury which shows symptoms of CRPS.
The price of over the counter pain relievers may vary depending on the brand and other factors. However, the price range can be anything between Rs 50-300. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants can cost you around Rs 1500 to 5000.
The condition can be best managed only if the person gets themselves treated in the early stages of the diagnosis, otherwise the condition of complex regional pain syndrome can only get worse with time. However, in some cases the signs and symptoms may go away on its own.
Following a certain diet can be helpful in order to regulate the pain in this condition. Acupuncture or acupressure may also be helpful in many cases. Other alternative treatments include herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.