Although complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) has been a recognised medical condition for more than 150 years, its exact cause is still unclear.
The condition usually seems to develop within a month ofan injury, either minoror more serious. These can include:
Most people recover from these injuries without experiencing any significant long-term effects, but people with CRPS develop pain that's much more severe and long-lasting than usual.
The pain can spread beyond the site of the original injury, usually affecting an entire limb. For example, CRPS may affect your whole arm after an injury to your finger or hand. In some cases, more than one area of the body can be affected.
CRPS has also been known to occur after surgery to a limb or after part of a limb has been immobilised (for example, in a plaster cast).
It's not known why some people develop CRPS after an injury. Due to the complex nature of the symptoms,it's unlikely the condition has a single, simplecause.
Some people even believe CRPS shouldn't be regarded as a single medical condition, because the symptoms could be the result of several different ones.
One ofthe main theoriessuggests that CRPS is the result of a widespread abnormal response to an injury that causes several of the body's systems to malfunction, including:
These systems are responsible formany body functions often affected in people with CRPS,such as:
It's also been suggested that some people may be more susceptible to CRPS because of genetic factors. Howeverthis isn't clear and it's very unlikely other members of your family will be affected if you have CRPS.
In the past, some people believed CRPS may be a psychological condition that makes people think they are experiencing pain. However, this theory has been largely disproven.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a poorly understood condition in which a person experiences persistent severe and debilitating pain.
The main symptom of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is severe, continuous and debilitating pain. It is usually confined to one limb, but can spread to other parts of the body in some cases.
Even though complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) has been a recognised medical condition formore than150 years, its exact cause is still unclear.
There is no single test for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). It is usually diagnosed by ruling out other conditions that have similar symptoms.
There is no known cure for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), but a combination of physical treatments, medication and psychological support can help manage the symptoms.