Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can bring severe pain that usually affects the arms or legs. This usually results from malfunctions in the peripheral and central nervous system. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, while the condition can affect just one limb it can spread to other areas of the body. It may result from physical trauma and may bring life-altering changes for the individual.
Symptoms of CRPS may include the following:
- Consistent burning or throbbing pain in the arm, leg, hand, or foot
- Sensitivity to touch or cold
- Swelling in the painful area
- Changes in skin temperature– it may feel sweaty at times and cold in other times
- Changes in skin color ranging from white and mottled to red or blue
- Changes in the texture of the skin becoming tender, thin, or shiny in the painful area
- Changes in the hair and nail growth
- Stiffness in the joints, swelling and damage
- Muscle spasms, weakness and loss
- Decreased ability to move the affected body part
Bear in mind that the symptoms may change from time to time and from one person to another. Usually, pain, swelling, redness, and noticeable changes in temperature as well as hypersensitivity may occur first. If the pain has become too unbearable, it is time to consult your doctor to determine the cause. For complex regional pain syndrome, early treatment can prove crucial.
Complex regional pain syndrome has two types:
- Type 1. Also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, it takes place after an injury that does not directly damage the nerves in the affected limb. 9 out of 10 people with complex regional pain syndrome suffer from reflex sympathetic syndrome.
- Type 2. Type 2 is often referred to as causalgia and follows after a distinct nerve injury.
When not treated right away, complex regional pain syndrome may lead to more debilitating conditions such as:
- Tissue Wasting (Atrophy). Characterized by difficulty moving arm or leg or limb due to stiffness, it may lead to deterioration and weakening of the skin, bones, and muscles
- Muscle Tightening. It may lead to the contraction of the hands and fingers on the foot into a fixed position