Johnston Pain Management, P.A.
Pain Management located in Jacksonville, NC, Sneads Ferry, NC, & New Bern, NC
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a pain condition that causes severe, prolonged pain in the extremities, usually following an injury. However, CRPS causes a wide range of symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. The anesthesiology and pain medicine experts at Johnston Pain Management, P.A., in Jacksonville, New Bern, and Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions like complex regional pain syndrome. To get help with your pain, call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A
What is complex regional pain syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a pain condition that affects the arms, hands, legs, or feet after an injury.
Though researchers are still investigating what causes CRPS, it’s theorized that abnormal functioning of the peripheral-C nerve fibers causes this painful condition.
Peripheral-C nerve fibers carry pain signals to your brain, letting you know there’s an injury. These nerves also trigger the body’s healing process.
Abnormalities with the peripheral C-fiber nerves cause excessive firing of pain messages to the brain. These messages also trigger an overactive inflammatory response.
The changes in the functions of these nerves often occur after an injury to the limb, which may also injure the nerve. In most cases, the nerve injury is obvious, but the cause of the pain condition may not be so apparent in others.
What are the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome causes a wide array of symptoms, making it hard to diagnose accurately. With CRPS, you may have:
- Unprovoked, spontaneous pain
- Prolonged pain after light touch
- Changes in skin temperature or color
- Swelling in the limb
- Changes in skin texture
- Abnormal nail or hair growth
- Abnormal sweating
- Joint stiffness
- Bone loss or excess bone growth
- Changes in muscle strength or movement
These symptoms usually appear 4-6 weeks after the initial injury.
How is complex regional pain syndrome diagnosed?
There’s no single test for diagnosing CRPS. When you visit Johnston Pain Management, P.A., for help with your pain condition, the team conducts a thorough clinical exam to determine the cause.
Your provider asks detailed questions about your symptoms and the initial injury (if known). They perform a physical exam, paying close attention to the affected limb, looking for signs of CRPS. The team may also run nerve conduction studies (NCS) or perform a bone scan.
The Johnston Pain Management, P.A., team diagnoses CRPS based on your symptoms and findings from your exam and tests.
How is complex regional pain syndrome treated?
Treatment for CRPS may depend on the severity of your symptoms. The earlier you start treatment, the faster you may recover.
The team at Johnston Pain Management, P.A., customizes your care plan, which may include:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers
- Neuropathic pain medications
- Topical anesthetics
- Physical therapy
- Spinal cord stimulator
- Peripheral nerve stimulator
- Intrathecal pump
The goal of treatment is to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.
To learn more about complex regional pain syndrome, call Johnston Pain Management, P.A., or schedule an appointment online today.
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