Is There Treatment For Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a severe and chronic nerve disease that can cause terrible pain and other symptoms. Formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome or causalgia, it is a complicated condition as the name implies. Thought to be caused by a disorder of neurons and pain receptors, CRPS has been called one of the most painful conditions that can be suffered, one that unfortunately is not curable. Controlling pain is the main treatment for CRPS patients, something that can be done with the help of a pain doctor College Station who is familiar with the condition. As debilitating as it may be, pain specialists are using the best and most current methods possible to control symptoms for patients with CRPS.
CRPS is thought to occur from multiple causes including a deregulated central nervous system and autonomic nervous system, which results in nerves in the body sending pain messages even though there is no actual injury present. CRPS is also thought to possibly be due to an immune response in the body, causing the body to react to certain neurons called catecholamines; because of these negative reactions, neurons are put in a state of excitation and send incorrect messages. Malfunctioning neurons and receptors then act as though there is injury and then swelling, redness, heat, and more discomfort occurs in that area. It is a systemic disease that can affect any area of the body and has frequently been misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia.
The main and most significant symptom of CRPS is intense pain that can occur anywhere in the body at the site of an injury or where some other problem has set it off. Sensations can feel like severe burning and tingling, possibly with skin redness. Symptoms usually worsen, rather than improve, – and can just as suddenly stop. CRPS symptoms can progress to an extreme burning sensation, muscle spasms, joint stiffness, reduced hair growth at the site, and even changes in fingernail or toenail growth.
In its worst stages, the continued effects of CRPS can cause marked changes to the body such as advanced muscle atrophy, tendon contraction, permanent damage to the skin and bones in affected areas, and even cause osteoporosis. Because of such excruciating conditions, many sufferers develop psychological problems as well and CRPS can cause suicide.
Since there is no known cure for CRPS, symptom management is the main focus of a pain doctor College Station. Treatments are multi-focal, involving drug therapy, physical therapy, and psychotherapy combined. Anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants, and some anti-seizure medications can help to alleviate some of the physical discomfort. Other drugs frequently used to provide relief for CRPS include corticosteroids, topical analgesics, and a variety of narcotic drugs like morphine, codeine, oxycodone and other opioids.
Other therapies for CRPS that have been used with some success include spinal cord stimulators, intrathecal drug pumps, local anesthetic nerve blocks, temporary and permanent sympathectomy nerve blocks, and other means of preventing the transmission of these nerve impulses.
Ketamine anesthetic infusions have proven effective in some patients, as have topical applications of DMSO cream, a known analgesic that can also be combined with other analgesic medications that have proven effective for a patient and result in a stepped-up topical preparation that can contribute to the effectiveness of all the combined treatments. Psychotherapy, relaxation techniques, and hypnosis can provide some intervention as well.
Because it is such a difficult disease to manage, patients with complex regional pain syndrome need to find a pain doctor College Station with whom honest discussions can be held about symptom severity. Through the use of these and other methods, it is possible to get pain controlled so sufferers can regain a better quality of life.
Look to BCS Pain Clinic for the Best Pain Doctor in College Station!
Do you need to find a pain doctor in College Station to help with your pain problems? Call BCS Pain Clinic at (979) 764-7246 and find the professional pain management help that you need!