Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Applies to: Shoulder, Elbow/Hand/Wrist, Foot/Ankle

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)Complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic, systemic disease that is characterized by severe pain, swelling and changes in the skin. The mean age of onset is 42 and the disease affects about three times more women than men.  Symptoms often present in an arm or leg, near the site of an injury and then spread from there.

Symptoms may include:

  • burning, stabbing, grinding, throbbing pain
  • movement or touch of the limb is intolerable
  • muscle spasms
  • local swelling
  • sensitivity to touch, water, vibrations
  • increased sweating
  • changes in skin temperature
  • changes in skin color
  • softening and thinning of bones
  • joint stiffness and tenderness
  • painful movement

Sometimes there are no known causes for CRPS, although injury and surgery can be factors.