Managing CRPS pain is a case of bringing together a range of different treatments, lifestyle changes and personal exercises to help your condition feel manageable and not all-encompassing. Treatment for CRPS may involve a large care team or simply a couple of specialists.
Treatment for CRPS includes self-management and lifestyle changes, physical rehabilitation, pain relief medication and psychological support and counselling.
CRPS pain management begins with pain relief, usually organised through your GP or the professional pain clinic at your hospital. Pain relief maybe in the form of NSAIDs, anticonvulsants or tricyclic antidepressants, both of which are known for their success in treating nerve pain or in more extreme cases opiates including morphine or codeine.
Pain relief is usually provided alongside physical rehabilitation which may be in the form of sessions with a physiotherapist or guidance from related professionals. A physiotherapist may set you specific exercises such as stretching or weight bearing and they may introduce the technique of desensitisation. This works through teaching your body how different textures and touches feel against non-painful parts of your body and then touching the same textures against the painful parts, focusing your energy on how it felt on the other parts of your body, training your mind to be desensitised to the pain. Another technique you may learn is mirror visual feedback.
Another key part of your pain management, recognised in the majority of medical pain management guidelines, including the NHS, is self-management. Learning techniques in your everyday life to manage the pain of CRPS can really help make a difference. Your doctor should advise you remain as active as possible and use the affected limb as much as you can, as well as learn how to pace yourself and get to know your body’s limits and where it is comfortable. You may also consider learning relaxation techniques to improve your sleep quality and rehabilitation techniques such as desensitisation can actually be continued and worked upon at home.
Managing CRPS Pain can also be much easier if you are able to access a local support group, something your local pain clinic or GP surgery may be able to help you with.