Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), previously referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy and causalgia, is a multifaceted condition characterized by prolonged discomfort, inflammation, and heightened unpleasant sensations following an injury to an extremity, be it the arms or legs.

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In 1994, the International Association for the Study of Pain introduced a more precise terminology, distinguishing between CRPS type I and CRPS type II, which were previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

CRPS arises from an imbalance in the small peripheral C5 nerves responsible for transmitting pain sensations from the source to the brain. Excessive firing of these nerves triggers an inflammatory response that typically aids in the body’s natural healing and recovery process.

However, when the sympathetic system becomes overactive, it can lead to acute pathology, lasting less than six months, or a chronic condition that persists beyond six months. CRPS is further categorized into type I and type II:

  • CRPS Type I: The exact cause of this type is often elusive and may be as inconspicuous as an intravenous needle placement or a minor skin injury.
  • CRPS Type II: This variant is frequently associated with injuries to larger nerves, such as those occurring due to crush injuries or extremity surgeries.

Common symptoms of CRPS encompass an exacerbation of painful sensations in response to normally non-painful touch, a phenomenon known as hyperalgesia. Additionally, individuals with CRPS may exhibit skin color changes, swelling in the affected extremity, and alterations in temperature, with the affected limb being either cooler or occasionally warmer than its unaffected counterpart.

At Innovation Spine Medical, we are dedicated to understanding and addressing the complexities of sympathetic pain, providing comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment options to help individuals regain their quality of life.

Locations we serve in Queens, NY: Rego Park, Maspeth, Corona, Forest Hills, Middle Village
Locations we serve in Nassau County:
Malverne, Lynbrook, West Hempstead, Franklin Square, Valley stream.