Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a chronic pain condition involving damage or malfunction of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The pain experienced generally only affects one of the limbs (hands, arms, legs or feet). The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord while the peripheral nervous system involves nerve signaling from the central nervous system to the rest of the body.
In the majority of cases, symptoms are mild and individuals recover over time however in more severe cases recovery may not occur and disability can occur. Common symptoms associated with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome include:
An accurate diagnosis by a physician is beneficial in the creation of a treatment plan. Diagnosis of CPRS is based on your individual medical history and signs and symptoms, as there is no single diagnostic test used to confirm CPRS. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Bone Scans may be used to identify bone metabolism changes that are characteristic to CPRS. Other test may be done to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. A common distinguishing factor used to rule out other conditions is the notation of an injury to the affected limb.
The most common triggers for CPRS include:
Occasionally, CPRS develops without any known injury.