Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a chronic pain condition, often affects the legs, arms, hands, or feet, and usually develops as a result of an injury or trauma to the limb. Much is still unknown about this complicated condition, but researchers believe that it is caused by damage to both the peripheral and the central nervous systems.
At US Neuropathy Centers, we diagnose and treat a number of peripheral neuropathies, uncovering underlying causes and clues to the conditions’ development. With 15 locations currently across the United States, US Neuropathy Centers is the leading neuropathy treatment center in the country.
There are generally two forms of CRPS; CRPS-I and CRPS-II. If a doctor has confirmed nerve damage in a patient’s condition, then it is considered CRPS-II. When damage is not easily identified, the condition is classified as CRPS-I. Previously, CRPS-I was called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome. It is possible that a patient has nerve damage in CRPS-II that has not been detected yet.
Extraterritorial pain, or pain that does not stem from the territory of the affected nerve(s), is a common symptom in CRPS patients. Often times, patients may experience ‘mirror pain,’ which is when pain is felt in the opposite limb. Other common symptoms include pain, hyperalgesia, and allodynia. If there is damage to the motor nerves, a patient may experience dystonia, weakness, and/or atrophy.
Individuals with CRPS commonly have peripheral nerve abnormalities within the unmyelinated and myelinated nerve fibers. These fibers, or axons, carry pain messages to blood vessels. When there is an injury or damage to small nerve fibers, different symptoms of CRPS are triggered. Manipulated messages can contribute to blood vessel abnormalities and inflammation. In the end, the spinal cord and brain experience abnormal neurological functions, worsening CRPS.
CRPS also damages the immune system. Cytokines, inflammatory chemicals, develop in the tissues of affected people. Cytokines cause redness, swelling, and lead to autoimmune conditions.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), among many other foundations, are continuing research to uncover the mysteries of CRPS. If you suffer from nerve pain as a result of your CRPS diagnosis, contact the professionals at US Neuropathy Centers for a thorough evaluation. Even if you have not received a diagnosis, trust our experts to uncover the cause of your nerve pain.
If you are suffering from neuropathy, please do not hesitate to call us at any of our US Neuropathy Centers locations. With offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, our neuropathy experts are easily accessible and here to help.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
@US Neuropathy Centers, 2018