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Introduction To Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, (formerly known as Begum Syndrome and also Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), is a chronic and progressive condition which effects many people around the UK and across the world. The condition, often abbreviated to CRPS is characterised by complex regional pain and in most instances it is triggered by an injury and the pain felt is out of proportion with the injury.

Complex pain syndrome usually affects a single limb but sometimes spreads into other parts of the body. It can affect every part of the limb in question from the skin to the joints and often CRPS syndrome manifests in feeling extreme pain even when the slightest touch or movement is felt.

The CRPS UK doctors treat is often caused by traumatic incidents such as car accidents or slips, trips and falls, with the resulting injury developing into CRPS or related pain syndrome conditions for no known reason.

The definition of CRPS has changed regularly through the years and there are now two separate recognised types:

Type I – often known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy and shows no evidence of nerve lesions
Type II – often known as causalgia and has clear evidence of nerve lesions and damage

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Symptoms and Outlook

Complex regional pain syndrome can cause a wide range of symptoms and lead to a loss of mobility and many things which make getting on with day to day life quite difficult. Doctors may carry out a wide range of tests before you receive a diagnosis of CRPS but in the end, having the right diagnosis leads to the right treatment.

The outlook for people living with CRPS is changeable and entirely dependent upon the individual case, as no two cases are the same. Some people find the condition settles within a number of weeks whilst others have to accept it is a lifelong syndrome and something they will learn to live with. The treatment programmes for CRPS also vary greatly and often include pain relief, physiotherapy and self-management and lifestyle changes. Some individuals may also require psychological support which many doctors will make a referral for.

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