What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is persistent, lingering, and disproportionate pain. It occurs when an injury to a limb results in longer lasting discomfort and pain, but the pain is usually associated with a sharp injury. It can be the result of a fracture, a sprain, or a twist that tears at the tendons. It's generally limb related, although it can occur in a wrenched neck or a pulled back. CRPS can radiate from the point of injury and spread to other parts of the body. It can impact skin, raising temperature and causing severe sensitivity. In some cases, a slight touch, a bump, or even change in weather can cause discomfort in the local area of the original injury.
The impact that causes the injury will usually cause sharp pain. CRPS is represented by a burning, stinging or tingling sensation after the initial pain recedes. This paresthesia can be very painful and debilitating, depending on the patient and their sensitivities.
There may be a time when the pain will increase; these are called ‘flare-ups’.
Sensations may also be unusual: the limb may feel larger or smaller. Nails may become grooved or more sensitive. Movements may be more difficult. Changes in skin such as dryness or coldness from low circulation could also be experienced.
Depression and anxiety have also happened as a result of CRPS due to a decreased quality of life from chronic pain.
The most common cause of CRPS is bone fractures.
Other causes include sprains, strains, soft tissue injury, bruises, impact, cuts and burns.
Immobilized limbs can develop pain over time. Surgery can create CRPS symptoms that linger even after the cut is healed.
A stroke can result in CRPS, which occurs when the brain receives a lack of oxygen or blood, damaging nerves in the extremities.
Scars can generate a small electrical signal which the body can interpret as pain. Interestingly, an active scar can be treated by injecting it with procaine, which eliminates the charge.
Some studies have connected heart health to CRPS, assuming pain migrating from an injured limb could be mistaken for a heart attack when it migrates to the torso.
Since not much is known about CRPS, as it has many manifestations and can be different depending on the patient, treatments are also inconsistent and unsure. However, there are natural remedies that are proven to lessen pain and make it more manageable.
Rather than dulling the sensations with drugs, we at Agape Nutrition recommend targeting the root causes of CRPS. The CRPS supplements that you’ll find in our brand catalog address the three main pain- causing conditions that contribute to CRPS post injury. By properly addressing lymphatic flow, glutathione levels, and inflammation in a combined and regimented manner, patients can find relief.
Physical therapy is also a primary method to work the limb in order to restore functionality and strength. This also eliminates entropy of the muscles, which may occur when someone isn’t moving in order to avoid pain. The use of the muscles can restore normalcy over time.
Living with chronic pain can affect one psychologically. Finding appropriate help is important. This can take the form of cognitive behavioral therapy or even counseling.
Proper nutrition is always a key indicator of how the body uses vitamins and minerals needed to feed and heal damaged cells. Pharmaceutical drugs like amitriptyline as an antidepressant, ibuprofen and aspirin may provide temporary relief, but long-term solutions require a holistic approach with natural supplements of vitamins and minerals, exercise, sunshine, and help.