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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Specialist

Capital Pain Consultants

Chronic Pain Specialists & Pain Management Specialists located in Sacramento, CA

About 200,000 Americans receive a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) every year. At Capital Pain Consultants, the experienced pain management specialists, including Sharon Leano, MD, and James Kim, MD, understand how difficult this rare condition can be to treat, and they offer highly advanced treatments for people who need long-term solutions. Call the Sacramento, California, office, or click on the provided scheduling link now.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome is chronic pain that usually develops in a previously injured arm or leg. It may start after trauma like a sprain, fracture, burn, or surgical procedure. 

While the exact cause of complex regional pain syndrome isn’t certain, experts believe it’s an abnormal response to damage in your body. You may become extremely sensitive to pain signals, leading you to feel pain that’s out of proportion with the original injury. 

What are the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome can cause many troubling issues, including:

  • Chronic pain, usually in an arm or leg
  • Spreading pain
  • Burning sensation
  • Pins-and-needles sensation
  • Extreme skin sensitivity
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Skin color changes
  • Skin temperature changes
  • Difficulty moving the affected arm or leg
  • Abnormal sweating

Your symptoms may occur in bouts or may disappear on their own. However, many people with complex regional pain syndrome experience worsening symptoms. Rest may only intensify the symptoms.

How is complex regional pain syndrome diagnosed?

Reaching a diagnosis can be challenging, as there are no specific tests that verify complex regional pain syndrome. Usually, diagnosis involves a comprehensive medical history, with particular focus on possible triggering injuries.

Additionally, a full physical exam and review of your symptoms is helpful in making a diagnosis. You may also need tests to eliminate other conditions, such as blood tests to rule out infections or X-rays to check for bone problems.

How is complex regional pain syndrome treated?

Treatment of complex regional pain syndrome emphasizes pain relief and improving your function. A few of the different treatments that may help include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-seizure medication
  • Nerve pain medications
  • Topical anesthetic ointments
  • Nerve block injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation

If you have persistent pain despite other treatments, you may need an advanced pain management option like spinal cord stimulation, in which an implant disrupts nerve signaling to ease pain. Another advanced option is an intrathecal drug pump, which dispenses pain medication directly into your spine to relieve pain.

Most people with complex regional pain syndrome find that a combination approach, including staying active and choosing effective pain relief protocols, is the most effective way to manage their chronic pain and reclaim their function. 

For help with complex regional pain syndrome, call Capital Pain Consultants or click the scheduling tool now.