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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Also called: Causalgia, CRPS, Reflex sympathetic dystrophy 

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is an uncommon nerve disorder. It causes intense pain, usually in the arms, hands, legs or feet. It happens after an injury, either to a nerve or to tissue in the affected area. Rest and time may only make it worse. Doctors are not sure what causes it.

Symptoms in the affected area are

  • Dramatic changes in temperature and color
  • Intense burning pain
  • Extreme skin sensitivity

The cause of CRPS is unknown, and there is no cure. It can get worse over time, and may spread to other parts of the body. Occasionally it goes away, either temporarily or for good. Treatment focuses on relieving the pain, and can include medicines, physical therapy and nerve blocks.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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