Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, does not have verified cause but it’s thought to have caused when there is tissue damage caused by severe trauma, musculoskeletal injury, a nerve injury, surgery or immobilization. A malfunction in the nervous system and immune system occurs resulting in a chronic neuro-inflammatory disorder that is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. It is a rare, chronic and progressive condition resulting in excruciating persistent pain in the arm, legs, hands or feet.

The symptoms of CRPS vary from person to person, and with time it may aggravate or alleviate. Following are the common CRPS signs and symptoms:

Swelling in the painful area
Skin temperature randomly alternates between sweaty and cold.
The color of the skin keeps varying from white to red or blue.
Unable to move the affected part
Joint stiffness, swelling, and damage
Continuous throbbing pain
Sensitivity to touch

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome occurs in three stages:

STAGE (i)-

When a patient has a sustained trauma o the affected limb, its stage I of CRPS and it last for one to three months, depending upon how a particular patient is progressing. This stage was earlier referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. The patient experiences severe muscle spasm with the muscles in the affected area contracting abruptly. There is a sharp burning pain along with stiffness, swelling and muscle cramping in the area of injury wherein the person sweats a lot with their skin abruptly changes temperature and color. The person also becomes more sensitive to light and touch. This is the acute stage.


In this stage, pain and swelling aggravate and spreads to other parts of the body. Fingernails become weak, brittle and crack/break easily. Muscle tissue, bone starts to deteriorate, and there is inconsistency in hair growth. Patient experiences a decrease in the muscle tone. The color and the texture of the noticeable skin change. This is the dystrophic stage. This stage lasts for three to six months.


The ultimate and the most severe stage of CRPS wherein maximum damage is done on the mobility of the body. Muscles, skin, and bones tend to atrophy or begin to waste away. The condition spreads along the area of the injury, with body getting stiffer and the skin becoming more dry, shiny, tightly stretched, and pale. CRPS pain in this stage intensifies further and remain constant.The phase three of CRPS may last for an indeterminate amount of time and is irreversible.

If not diagnosed at the right time, CRPS/RSD can develop into a more disabling disease leading to muscle contracture. An early diagnosis can help control it at the right time. If you are struggling with CRPS /RSD or know someone going through this medical condition, reach out to the health recovery systems specializing in chronic and painful illness like a constant migraine, lupus, RSD, CRPS. With the judicious use of nutrition, acupuncture, and therapies, pain and suffering of RSD/CRPS victims can be reduced.

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