What is it?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is chronic pain that typically affects the arm or leg. It is usually triggered by an injury, surgery, stroke or a heart attack. The cause for the unproportionate pain is not fully understood, it’s thought that it could have to do with abnormality or injury to the nervous system. Over time, CRPS can cause muscle tightening and tissue wasting, causing decreased ability to move the affected body part.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of CRPS include burning sensations in the arm, leg, hand or goor as well as sensitivity to temperatures, swelling, skin color and texture changes, joint stiffness, muscle weakness, spasms, tremors and atrophy. There could also be a decreased ability to move the affected body part.


Diagnosis is mainly done upon findings from medical history and physical examination. There is no specific test for CRPS, but bone scan, sweat production tests, X-ray, and MRI could direct us to the diagnosis.


Treatment often includes a combination of medications such as pain relievers, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, bone-loss medications and other therapies including heat therapy, topical analgesics, physical and occupational therapy, mirror therapy, TENS, biofeedback, spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal drug pumps/

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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