Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that most often affects one limb (arm, leg, hand, or foot) usually after an injury. CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems.
CRPS is an example of an over-protective pain system. CRPS is characterised by changes in skin colour, temperature, and/or swelling and sweating.
Rehabilitation and physical therapy are recommended as the first line of treatment. This involves education on how best to manage symptoms and exercises to improve the function of the affected body part. Some novel treatments such as mirror therapy and sensori-motor integration tasks may be helpful as well as some medications.
Consultation with your GP about the option of referral to a pain specialist or rheumatologist may be recommended for further treatments.
A multidisciplinary pain management approach is recommended to restore movement and function of the affected limb and improve overall wellbeing.
Help & Resources
- Neuropathic Pain
- CRPS Fact sheet (Better Health Victoria)
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Australian Prescriber)
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Fact Sheet
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (NPS MedicineWise)
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Learn about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) as a musculoskeletal pain condition (painHealth)
- The Australian RSD/CRPS Support Group Online and phone support and information
- The Purple Bucket Foundation CRPS awareness and support