5 Things to Know About CRPS

5 Things to Know About CRPS

There are actually two types of CRPS. Type 1 – also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, appears after an illness or injury that doesn’t directly damage the nerves. This may include anything from a sprain or fracture in the affected limb to a surgery, infection or heart attack. It’s also been suggested that emotional stress may play a part. Type 1 accounts for roughly 90% of CRPS cases Type 2 – previously known as causalgia – occurs after a direct injury to the nerves. The commonality between the two types is that both seem to cause the nervous system and immune system to malfunction in response to the damage. Although it’s not entirely known how or why this happens, the result is increased inflammation and chronic pain, which can last anywhere from months to years. The main issue is usually a continuous burning or throbbing pain in one of the extremities (hand, arm, leg or foot). Symptoms also often include increased sensitivity, swelling, joint stiffness, sweaty or cold skin and changes in skin color or texture, although symptoms may change over time. The pain may also spread to the opposite limb. Research has shown that many of the cases of CRPS are mild and can gradually recover with time. The condition can affect people of both genders and almost all ages, but it is more common among women. The average age of sufferers is about 40. Children under 5 don’t get the condition and it’s rare for children under 10, however there are many cases among teenagers.

Key Points:

  • 1Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) affects one of the limbs, causing intense burning or throbbing pain, but diagnosing and treating it are sometimes very difficult.
  • 2CRPS seems to cause the nervous system and immune system to malfunction in response to the damage resulting in increased inflammation and chronic pain.
  • 3CRPS treatments are much more effective if they’re started early. Treatments include NSAIDs, corticosteroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, physical therapy, and sympathetic nerve blocks.


Symptoms also often include increased sensitivity, swelling, joint stiffness, sweaty or cold skin and changes in skin color or texture, although symptoms may change over time.

Read the full article at: http://www.apmhealth.com/blog/5-things-to-know-about-crps

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