Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic condition that can affect the limbs of the body, and has severe negative consequences for arms and legs of a patient. CRPS involves nerve disorders that are triggered by various causes and stimuli, and this specific pain syndrome can also create burning and intense pain sensations within a person’s limbs, spreading to other areas of their body.
The damaged nerves create problems with blood flow, as well as difficulty in feeling and sensing certain things, and lower temperature and blood pulsation throughout the affected area. The condition is most common in people who are middle aged or older, though it has been known to affect young adults in some cases.
The medical community at present is not entirely sure what causes complex regional pain of this manner, though they do have some assumptions and highly likely causes. The first of which involves an injury directly to a nerve, at which point the nerve triggers and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome then develops. Beyond that, CRPS may involve injuries or infections in an arm or a leg. That injury in turn exacerbates itself into the syndrome at a later time.
Other than that, though, doctors are not entirely sure of the connection between nerve damage and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and they cannot pinpoint a foolproof connection between the two in order to predict the case in patients. Developing and further understanding causes would do a great deal to preventing the syndrome from affecting people, and for finding permanent cures.
The key symptom involved with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is an intense burning in a certain area, or sustained in a certain place. The burning must take place much longer than what would be expected for the type of injury that had occurred, in order for it to be noticed and seen as exceptional.
Beyond that, the burning typically gets worse over time, as opposed to improving, and can begin at the point of injury but often spreads throughout the entire limb, or even to the other arm or leg on the other side of the body.
CRPS involves muscle spasms, as well as changes in skin temperature at the localized area that is affected by the burning and the nerve damage. Over time, in many patients, skin will become blotchy, pale, purple, or even red, as well as swell and become shiny and sensitive to the touch.
Untreated, CRPS can do great damage to a person’s limbs and affect their quality of life, and ability to complete daily tasks and responsibilities.