What is CRPS and what can we do about it?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic long-term condition that causes sharp, burning pains for those suffering from it. It can affect both men and women of any age, although it is most commonly found in people between 30 and 55. Three out of four people with CRPS are likely to make a full recovery from the condition, but this still leaves 25% with a moderate or severe permanent disability.

CRPS can be caused by soft tissue injuries, fractures, sprains, stroke, heart problems or small nerve fibre injuries, and it is usually identifiable by signs such as prolonged burning pain, changes in skin texture, unusual sweating patterns and abnormal difficulties with muscle movement. It is a horrendously difficult condition to endure, with everyday tasks like getting dressed, taking a shower and cooking dinner all requiring a great deal of effort.

To find out more about CRPS, including ways in which the condition can be treated and advice on how to cope with it from one day to the next, take a look at this infographic from Burning Nights (http://www.burningnightscrps.org/).

What is CRPS and what can we do about it?
What is CRPS and what can we do about it?

Invisible Disabilities – the Facts and Figures

One of the objectives of this blog is to help raise awareness of various different medical conditions. Especially those which are less well and often invisible to most people. So when Izzy asked me if I would like to share this infographic I was delighted to do so.  It gives a useful overview of some of the main conditions including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, IBD, and Lyme disease!

You can read the original here.

Invisible Disabilities

Allodynia – The pain that comes from pressure ! Find out more here

Pain for pressure
Pain for pressure

Simply put Allodynia can be defined as pain due to pressure on the body where in normal circumstances people would not expect to feel any pain.

Examples of medical conditions which have Allodynia as a symptom include Fibromyalgia (http://patienttalk.org/?tag=fibromyalgia), Neuropathic pain  (http://patienttalk.org/?p=281), complex regional pain syndrome  (http://patienttalk.org/?p=1003) and migraines.

The objective of the blog is first to raise awareness of Allodynia.  And  also to provide a forum for people to share their experiences of living with; and treating Allodynia.

The pain can be from both touch and from changes in skin temperature.

It would be great if you can use this blog to share your experiences of Allodynia.  We are interested in some of the following issues:-

a)      Which condition caused your Allodynia?

b)      How did this Allodynia present itself?

c)       In one sentence how would you describe the pain to somebody who has never experienced it before?

d)      How your Allodynia was treated and how successful was that treatment?

e)      What advice would you give to somebody who suffers from this kind of pain?

Please feel free to share any part of your pain story with our readers in the comments box below. If you have any links you think might be of interest, again, please put them boxes below

Many thanks in advance

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Come over and tell your story

Complex Regional pain syndrome
Complex Regional pain syndrome
Welcome to the latest in our series of pain and pain management blogs.  To have a look at the previous stuff we have covered please go to http://patienttalk.org/?tag=pain-management.

Today we want to focus on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS. A little understood medical syndrome but one which, according to the Britain’s Royal College of Physicians, 12,500 or so people are diagnosed with each year in the UK.  For more information on this and other aspects of CRPS this article is worth reading http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/complex-regional-pain-full-guideline.pdf.

The objective of this blog is to give people who have RCPS an opportunity to share their pain management story with other people with the condition and their caregivers.

One of the main issues is that the causes of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome are not yet fully understood but it often manifests after an injury.  The key issue is that the pain that results from the injury is much greater than the sufferer, typically, would expect.

The pain which is, for most, the key symptom, has been described as “(chronic) burning pain in one of their limbs”. Though in some cases it can be in more than one limb. I was told this was true in around 7% of cases.

While the condition often disappears a few days after the injury in some cases it can continue for months and years.  It is advised that patients receive treatment as soon as possible to improve long term outcomes.

So how is CRPS it treated?  Normally in three ways:-

a)      Medications – such as pain killers and anti-inflammatory.

b)      Physiotherapy

c)       Counselling to help the patient come to terms with the effects of pain


This is where you come in.

It would be great if you could share your CRPS story with our readers.  The following questions may be useful:-


1)      What do you think caused your CRPS?

2)      How would you describe the pain and other symptoms?

3)      How long did the symptoms last?

4)      How did you treat your CRPS and how effective were these treatments?

Please feel free to share anything you think may be of interest with our readers.  Any links to useful sites would be great.

Many thanks in advance.