There's no single test for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). It's usually diagnosed by ruling out other conditions that have similar symptoms.

Some of thetests you may have to rule out other conditions can include:

  • blood teststo rule out an underlying infection orrheumatoid arthritis
  • amagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanto rule out underlying problems with your tissue or bones
  • anX-rayto rule out problems with the joints and bones
  • nerve conduction studiesto rule out damage to nerves

A physical examination may also be carried out by your GP or another specialist to check for physical signs of CRPS, such as swelling and changes to your skin's temperature and appearance. Any physical exam should be gentle so it doesn't increase your pain.

A diagnosis of CRPS can usually be made if you have clear symptoms of the condition and no other possible cause can be found.


If you're diagnosed with CRPS, or if the diagnosis is uncertain, you'll usually be referred to a local specialist pain clinic. These are mostly located within hospitals.

Referrals are ideally made as soon as possible to ensure treatment can be started quickly, because treatment may reduce unnecessary suffering.

Inflammation is the body's response to infection, irritation or injury, which causes redness, swelling, pain and sometimes a feeling of heat in the affected area.
Joints are the connection point between two bones that allow movement.
Damage to the bodys tissues.
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016