Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is an unusual and distressing type of chronic pain condition that can develop following an injury or other trauma to an arm or leg. Double board-certified pain specialist Daniel Loder, MD, and his team are specialists in treating conditions like CRPS. They use advanced treatment methods like sympathetic ganglion block injections and spinal cord stimulation at their offices in Beverly Hills, Torrance, and Manhattan Beach, California. To find out more or schedule a consultation, call your nearest Los Angeles area office today or book your appointment online.
Complex regional pain syndrome or CRPS is a condition that causes chronic, worsening pain. It was originally known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).
CRPS develops when there's a problem with the connection between your sympathetic nerves (those that control involuntary functions like breathing and blood pressure) and your central nervous system (the nerves you consciously control and where you feel pain).
The usual trigger for CRPS is an injury to your arm or leg, such as a fracture or sprained ligament. CRPS can also develop after surgery or as a result of a burn injury.
After the injury, you develop pain in the affected limb that won't go away. This chronic pain is often severe and can spread to other areas.
It's not clear exactly why complex regional pain syndrome develops in this way. It could be due to your body reacting abnormally to the injury, or overreacting as it would when you have an allergy.
There could be autoimmune causes, where your body's immune system targets your cells by mistake. There could be a genetic link, as well.
The primary symptom of CRPS is chronic pain. You might also feel burning sensations or a prickling or "pins and needles" in the affected area. The skin might change color and become colder or hotter than usual.
Over time, the pain often spreads from the original injury site, so if you injured your ankle, for example, the pain might spread into your foot and up your leg. You might also develop allodynia, where the lightest touch on your skin feels very painful.
Some patients who have CRPS experience other symptoms, like excessive sweating, changes in hair and nail growth, or difficulties moving the affected limb.
If you start treatment for complex regional pain syndrome early enough, you could reverse the condition and enjoy complete remission. More advanced cases are harder to treat, but the Daniel Loder, MD, team can still help ease your pain and relieve other symptoms.
Physical therapy can be invaluable for keeping your limbs moving and preventing muscle wastage. You might want to take pain medications, and some form of talk therapy or counseling can help you learn to manage your condition.
If your pain is unmanageable despite conservative measures, the Daniel Loder, MD, team may recommend a sympathetic ganglion block injection to anesthetize the nerves in the painful area. A series of sympathetic ganglion blocks can reduce the pain significantly over the long-term.
Another state-of-the-art treatment option the Daniel Loder, MD, team specializes in is spinal cord stimulation. In this procedure, your provider implants a device under your skin that transmits electrical pulses to the nerves in your spine, blocking pain signals.
To get relief from CRPS and other forms of chronic pain, call Daniel Loder, MD, today, or book an appointment online.