Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Interventional Pain Medicine in Knoxville, TN
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome services offered in Knoxville, TN

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare but potentially serious condition that can affect your mobility and quality of life. Anyone can develop CRPS, but it’s most common in women 40 and younger. At Pain Medicine of the South, the team of interventional pain management specialists regularly diagnoses and treats CRPS. To make an appointment, call the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, or book online today.

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic condition characterized by swelling, skin discoloration, and chronic discomfort in the arms, legs, or other parts of your body.

People who develop CRPS often suffer an acute injury first, like a sprain or a fracture. That injury causes your central or peripheral nervous system to overreact, resulting in pain, stiffness, and mobility problems.

Does complex regional pain syndrome present symptoms?

Symptoms of CRPS include:

  • Chronic pain that worsens over time
  • Pain that’s more severe than the initial injury
  • Skin swelling
  • Skin discoloration
  • Changes in skin temperature

CRPS develops slowly. Most people experience the first symptoms between four and six weeks after a soft tissue injury or surgery.

How is complex regional pain syndrome diagnosed?

To diagnose CRPS, your Pain Medicine of the South provider first reviews your medical records. They also ask about your symptoms, including when the pain started, if it extends to other parts of your body, and if activities like running errands or going to work make it worse.

Next, your provider completes a physical exam, which involves examining the painful limb or joint and the surrounding skin for redness, swelling, or bruising. Your provider gently presses on your skin to pinpoint sensitive areas and pokes your skin with tools to test your reflexes and nerve response.

They might also order diagnostic imaging like X-rays, an MRI, or electromyography (EMG) to see if you have peripheral nerve disease.

How is complex regional pain syndrome treated?

There’s no cure for CRPS, but healthy lifestyle changes and other minimally invasive treatments can reduce uncomfortable symptoms and improve your quality of life. The team at Pain Medicine of the South might recommend:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Mirror therapy
  • Desensitization
  • Psychotherapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Sympathetic nerve blocks
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Intrathecal drug pump
  • Dorsal root ganglia stimulation

The most beneficial type of treatment for you depends on your age, the severity of your symptoms, and your goals.

Learn more about treatment for CRPS today by making an appointment at Pain Medicine of the South. Call the office to speak with a caring staff member or click the online booking feature.