What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is prolonged pain after an injury that is more severe and lasts longer than would be expected following a similar injury. Most cases of CRPS occur after trauma to an arm or leg.
What Causes Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome can be caused by incidents that have led to injuries, such as fractures, infections and more. More severe injuries are at a greater risk of developing complex regional pain syndrome. However, typically less severe injuries such as sprains and soft-tissue injuries can also cause complex regional pain syndrome. Immobilisation following the injury is also associated with an increased risk of developing complex regional pain syndrome.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Symptoms
There are some common signs and symptoms of CRPS, and some people suffering from CRPS may also have trouble with their mobility due to the pain.
- Chronic pain
- Skin sensitivity
- Limb swelling
- Changes in temperate to the affected area.
- Abnormal swelling
- Changes in skin, hair, and nails in the affected area
- Local weakness
What are the 3 stages of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
There are three different clinical stages of complex regional pain syndrome.
- Stage 1 – acute, which typically lasts 1-3 months.
- Stage 2 – subacute, which usually lasts between 3-6 months.
- Stage 3 – chronic, permanent changes to the affected area.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Treatment
Treatment for complex regional pain syndrome is split into four main areas:
- Education and self-management (advice and support on how to manage the condition).
- Physical rehabilitation (improve physical functioning and help prevent the risk of long-term issues).
- Pain relief (pain medication to help reduce the pain).
- Psychological support (support to help cope with the emotional affect of living with the condition).
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Medicinal Cannabis
Research into the effect of medicinal cannabis on CRPS is limited. However, following the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes in 2018, there has been a rise in people looking towards medical cannabis. When first-line therapies have not proved effective at reducing symptoms, medical cannabis may be considered an option for CRPS.
For further information and to find out more about medical cannabis, click here to discover more about our award-winning Curaleaf Access Scheme. Alternatively, complete an eligibility assessment now. Once complete, one of our clinicians will review your application and advise whether you are eligible for progression to an appointment.