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Exploring Treatment Options for CRPS



Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) - Treatment Options for CRPS

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a condition that involves prolonged pain focused on a region of the body. It often involves a heightened sensitivity to pain, and patients may experience pain associated with experiences that should not elicit that response. It can also come with a broad array of other symptoms like sweating or swelling in the affected area.

CRPS is a difficult condition to diagnose and treat. Many people with the condition go years without getting the correct diagnosis. Once they have the diagnosis, finding the proper treatment options can take time.

When asked, a professional from the Spero Clinic said, “CRPS affects different people in different ways. This means treatment isn’t always straightforward. Healthcare professionals need to understand the patient as an individual and account for the way they are experiencing pain. It may even require some trial and error to find the right treatment options.”

This post will cover some of the common treatment options that may be effective for treating complex regional pain syndrome.

Pain Medicine

Pain is one of the primary issues facing CRPS patients. As a result, it makes pain medication one of the common tools doctors use to treat the condition. Doctors may recommend OTC pain medicines, or they might prescribe stronger drugs. Various other drugs may also be needed to treat different symptoms or effects of CRPS. Some patients may also benefit from taking various supplements to address issues relating to CRPS.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is usually a significant component of treating complex regional pain syndrome. However, there is no set protocol for CRPS and physical therapy. The condition affecting different people in different ways requires an individualized approach to physical therapy. It can depend on the area of the body experiencing pain, the cause of injury, and several other factors. Your physical therapist may help with guided exercises or develop an exercise plan for you to do at home.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Your doctor may also want to consider various lifestyle adjustments when treating CRPS. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can do a lot to reduce the symptoms and help the individual recover. For example, if you smoke or drink alcohol, your doctor may recommend taking steps toward quitting. Doctors may also want to address the issue with patients who are overweight or those who live a sedentary lifestyle. This could be another reason why a doctor might recommend exercise to treat CRPS.

Diet Counseling and Adjustments

A patient’s diet can also be an important part of treating CRPS. Beyond helping overweight patients lose weight, certain foods can trigger inflammation. Some patients may also have various food sensitivities. Healthcare professionals can evaluate a patient’s diet and order food sensitivity tests. Based on the results of the tests, they can develop a diet to help the patient avoid pain issues. They might also recommend various foods that can be good for CRPS patients.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is a common treatment option for all sorts of pain management issues. It can be especially effective for helping some CRPS patients. As a start, heat can relieve tension in areas that may be tight. It can also feel soothing to areas that are experiencing pain. Feelings of coldness to the affected area are also common in CRPS. When these cold spells occur, heating the area can relieve pain for the patient.

Electrical Stimulation

Many CRPS patients experience weakening in areas affected by the condition. It is part of what makes exercising an effective treatment for CRPS. However, electrical stimulation is also an effective way to exercise muscles for CRPS patients. It can work to cause muscle contractions and restore function for those who have weakened muscles.

Lymphatic Therapy

Lymphatic therapy is another treatment option for some CRPS patients. Some cases of CRPS are aggravated by blockages to the lymphatic system. It can cause swelling, pain and other unpleasant symptoms. With lymphatic therapy, you use various methods to induce lymphatic drainage. One common option is lymphatic drainage massage. There are also various devices that can assist with lymphatic therapy.

Nerve Stimulation

Medical science has yet to gain a full understanding of CRPS. However, it is widely believed to be an issue primarily associated with nervous system dysfunction. For many patients, this means nerve stimulation can be a way to find relief. For CRPS treatment, the patient may find relief with vagus nerve stimulation or spinal manipulation. Depending on the patient, nerve stimulation can be effective for relieving pain and other CRPS symptoms.

Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Many therapy centers are experimenting with complementary and alternative medicine to treat CRPS. Chiropractic treatment is a popular option for CRPS patients. Acupuncture is also becoming more common in some treatment centers. Many doctors have also seen positive results when administering ketamine therapy.

As a condition, CRPS is difficult for patients and doctors. They have to work together to find the right treatment for the individual. If you believe you have CRPS, speak with your doctor to find the best treatment solutions to address the issue.

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