Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Specialist in Allen TX
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a comprehensive term that describes severe and protracted pain and inflammation that occurs after an injury to an arm or leg. Here at American Pain and Wellness, our qualified team of professionals can help manage your chronic pain. We are conveniently located at 1101 Raintree Circle #240 Allen, TX 75013. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
What are the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?
How do I know if my CRPS is spreading?
What are the stages of complex regional pain syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS, is a crippling condition that affects the skin and surrounding tissues. CRPS is typically diagnosed after an injury or surgery, but it can also develop after other causes. The symptoms of CRPS can include extreme pain, redness, swelling, limited range of motion, and changes to the musculoskeletal system. CRPS can be very debilitating and can prevent people from performing basic activities.
Complex regional pain syndrome, a type of chronic pain, usually affects a limb (arm or leg) and most often develops after an injury, surgery, a heart attack or a stroke. Signs and symptoms of CRPS include:
– Continuous burning or throbbing pain
– Sensitivity to touch or cold
– Swelling of the painful area
– Changes in skin temperature (sweaty and cold)
– Changes in skin color (white and blotchy to red or blue)
– Changes in skin texture (tender, thin, shiny)
– Changes in hair and nail growth
– Joint stiffness, swelling, and damage
– Muscle spasms, tremors, and weakness (atrophy)
– Decreased ability to move affected body parts
Symptoms can vary significantly from person to person and may change over time. The first symptoms to occur are typically pain, swelling, redness, changes in temperature, and hypersensitivity. Over time, the affected limb can become cold and pale; it may undergo skin changes (discoloration, sensitivity) and nail changes (brittleness, paleness) as well as muscle spasms and tightening. Once these changes occur, the condition is often irreversible, however, it can be managed with the appropriate care.
CRPS is known to spread, although the reasons are not always well understood. The “spreading” is likely due to dysfunction or chronic changes in the central nervous system, which can be caused by trauma or invasive procedures. In studies performed on patients with CRPS, three types of spread were identified: contiguous spread (higher up in the same limb), mirror image (same limb, opposite side), and independent spread.
CRPS usually follows three stages of development:
– Stage One — The initial stage of CRPS usually lasts around one to three months; the affected limb can experience any of the following symptoms:
– Severe burning or aching pain
– Skin temperature changes (clammy, cold, sweaty)
– Skin color changes (mottled, red, blue, pale)
– Skin texture changes (thin, shiny, tender)
– Sensitivity to touch (allodynia) and temperature
– Muscle tremors, spasms, or jerks
– Swollen and stiff joints
– Rapid hair and nail growth
– Stage Two — Stage two typically lasts three to six months; as time passes, symptoms progress. Skin changes continue to worsen; nails become hard, brittle, and easily cracked; pain intensity increases; joints stiffen and swell; and muscles weaken. The pain may also spread throughout the limb (contiguous) or to an unaffected limb (mirror; independent). Another common symptom during this stage is slower hair growth.
– Stage Three — The third and final stage, often referred to as the chronic phase, can develop up to a year after the initial onset of the condition. This stage can last for many years and even become permanent, lasting for the rest of a person’s life. Pain may be intermittent or remain constant. The skin is typically dry, pale, cool, and shiny at this stage, which can also contribute to more pain. Atrophy can develop, leading to loss of muscle strength and function of the affected limb. In severe cases that affect the upper extremities, a frozen shoulder or a claw hand can develop.
If you are struggling with complex regional pain syndrome, the pain management specialists at American Pain and Wellness can help you restore your quality of life. Call us today or book an online appointment with our complex regional pain specialist, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 1101 Raintree Circle #240 Allen, TX 75013. We serve patients from Allen TX, Plano TX, Fairview TX, McKinney TX, Parker TX, Lucas TX, Murphy TX, Frisco TX, Richardson TX, and Collin County Texas. We look forward to serving you!