CRPS and Neurological Pain

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?

Complex regional pain syndrome or CRPS, is a chronic pain condition, that can affect any part of the body. CRPS is also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Causalgia.

CRPS is associated with severe sensitivity to types of stimulation that are not usually painful such as a light touch, or slight pressure. Excessive sweating, swelling, discoloration and coolness or warmth of the limb may occur due to dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

To learn more about CRPS and Neurological Pain, please reach out to our Los Angeles and Santa Monica neurological pain specialists today.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Symptoms

The intense pain associated with CRPS is out of proportion to any associated injury and intensifies over time, spreading throughout the limb and potentially to the limb on the opposite side of the body. There are often changes in limb temperature, sweating, swelling, and posture.

Diagnosis and Treatment of CRPS

A clear diagnosis of CRPS is based on clinical grounds; early medical attention and treatment are vital. Standard treatments will include physical and occupational therapy. Injections, medications and other therapies may be used to control pain and improve function.

Neurological Pain and Understanding Nerve Damage

Damage to the autonomic nervous system might prevent a patient from sensing pain in some parts of the body or affect the correct functioning of the digestive system.

Motor nerve damage can result in muscle weakness or actual atrophy, uncontrolled twitching, or complete paralysis.

Sensory nerve damage can result in heightened sensitivity or complete numbness, tingling and prickling sensations or outright pain, and difficulty with positional awareness.

Causes of Nerve Damage

When damage occurs across multiple nerve systems, the range of symptoms becomes even more complex. There are many forms of nerve conditions, all requiring different treatments singularly or in combination. It is estimated, for instance, that more than 20 million people in the United States are affected by peripheral nerve damage, which tends to worsen with age and can be linked to specific conditions like diabetes. In almost a third of cases, however, no cause of the nerve damage can be determined.

While an exhaustive list of causes is impossible, some known causes of nerve damage include:

  • Autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis, lupus, or myasthenia gravis
  • Compression injuries like pinched nerves in the neck
  • Cancerous masses that push against or crush adjacent nerves
  • Diabetes (about half of the people with diabetes also have diabetic neuropathy)
  • Exposure to toxic substance or adverse drug reactions
  • Nutritional deficiencies, Infectious diseases, or Acute Injuries

Treating Neurological Pain in Los Angeles

In many cases the symptoms of nerve pain can be reduced, but the underlying damage cannot be corrected or cured. Where there are associated medical conditions, these are treated first, for instance regulating blood sugar levels in diabetics or correcting nutritional deficiencies.

Our doctors may also prescribe pain relievers, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs. Often alternative approaches are used including acupuncture, hypnosis, mediation, and biofeedback.

To learn more about nerve pain in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, reach out to our neurological pain specialists today.