RSD/CRPS Type 1 & Type 2

Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), sometimes known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) is an abnormal, chronic, long-lasting pain that develops in a region that has been previously injured. More simply, CRPS could be defined as unexplained pain that simply will not go away under normal means.

The two types of CRPS – Type 1 and Type 2, are very similar. The difference being Type 1 is categorized as the issue arising from an injury to tissue in the extremities, while Type 2 sees the issue arise following a specific nerve injury.

Depending on the Type of CRPS that has developed, the pain may be severe and difficult to handle – and may spread to nearby areas of the body. The exact cause of CRPS is not clear – though it acts similarly to an overreaction to an injury in the same way we react to an allergy.

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The condition can develop following any type of trauma, including following a surgical procedure. Symptoms, depending on the type, may include:

  • Sensation of burning
  • Sensation of “pins and needles”
  • Changes in skin color
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Sweating
  • Changes in hair or nail growth
  • Issues moving affected limbs
  • Pain that may spread to a nearby area – or area on the opposite side of the body

There are various treatments available to help curb or eliminate the effects of CRPS. Many forms of therapy, such as physical therapy, psychotherapy, or heat therapy may be effective depending on your symptoms. Various medications, such as pain relievers or antidepressants may help, as may a nerve block. In some cases, an individual may benefit from a drug pump – a device designed to pump pain medication directly into the spinal fluid when needed.

While the symptoms of CRPS may be frightening, and the exact cause still remains unclear, you can rest assured that the caring professionals at the Center for Spine and Pain Medicine are dedicated to finding the treatment you need.

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