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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

SEPA Pain & Spine

Pain Management located in Horsham, PA & Langhorne, PA

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) pain can be severe and reduce your mobility. If you have symptoms of this uncommon condition, talk to the pain management experts at SEPA Pain and Spine’s Horsham, Langhorne, Meadowbrook, or Chalfont offices in Pennsylvania. They provide accurate assessments and effective therapies that reduce your symptoms and slow the disease’s progression. Call your nearest SEPA Pain and Spine office today or book an appointment online for superior CRPS treatment!

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) causes severe, persistent burning or throbbing pain in one or more limbs, and symptoms such as:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Weakness
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Reduced function
  • Skin temperature and/or color changes
  • Increased sensitivity to cold and touch
  • Skin texture, hair, or nail growth changes in the affected limb


Stage 1 CRPS typically lasts 1-3 months. In stage 2 CRPS, symptoms worsen, then by stage 3, irreversible changes can occur. You might have limited movement because of contracture (tightened muscles and tendons), muscle wasting, and pain in the entire leg or arm.

What causes complex regional pain syndrome?

CPRS’s causes aren’t entirely clear, but it can develop after an injury like a fracture or a deep laceration. It’s likely that a nervous system injury affecting the spinal cord and brain (central nervous system) or the peripheral nerves that extend into your limbs triggers or contributes to your pain. An immune system dysfunction could also be involved.

Anyone could develop CRPS, but it’s more common in women. Your risk of CRPS is higher if you undergo surgery or have a heart attack or stroke. Not everyone with CRPS goes through all three stages, but because of the risk of irreversible damage, an early diagnosis is vital.

Primary care providers may not have the specialized knowledge of CRPS required to make a prompt diagnosis, so if you have symptoms, talk to the experts at SEPA Pain and Spine.

How is complex regional pain syndrome treated?

CRPS isn’t curable, but treatment can improve your symptoms and prevent the disease from worsening. Physical therapy helps to restore range of motion and function in the affected limb and prevent muscle and tendon contracture.

Your SEPA Pain and Spine provider might recommend anti-inflammatory medications, including corticosteroids to relieve swelling and pain. Other drugs that can help treat CRPS include certain blood pressure, antidepressant, and bone loss medicines. Nerve block injections containing a local anesthetic offer significant short-term relief.

If you have severe CRPS pain, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) can help by changing the messages your nerves send to your brain. Instead of pain, you feel a pleasant tingling or in some cases, no sensations at all. Another option is an intrathecal pain pump that delivers powerful pain-relieving medications into your body.

Call SEPA Pain and Spine for expert CRPS diagnosis and treatment, or book an appointment online today.