If You of Someone You Care About Has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Please Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys to Learn More About Proper Medical Care & TreatmentHow to Treat CRPS?
The most important step in treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS caused by an accident, trauma or injury is to obtain the best medical care possible. If you need assistance finding CRPS doctors, which include orthopedic and pain management specialists, please contact our CRPS personal injury lawyers now for an absolutely FREE consultation and referrals to doctors who both understand and treat CRPS and who also will wait for payment until your claim is settled. Proper CRPS treatment is essential to both feeling better and proving your injuries, so please do NOT delay and please contact our CRPS accident attorneys now so you can secure necessary treatment and proof without any worry about payment.
Therapy is often helpful in treating CRPS. The following are some therapies and procedures used to treat and help victims of CRPS:
- Rehabilitation Therapy – This consists of exercise of the affected limb or body part to improve the flow of blood and reduce circulation problems. Also, such exercises can greatly help improve flexibility, function and strength.
- Psychotherapy – Victims of CRPS often develop depression, anxiety and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These psychological symptoms can, unfortunately, exacerbate the already heightened sensation of pain and discomfort from CRPS, making the pain seem even worse and both treatment and rehabilitation much more difficult. These psychological systems affect not only the victim but also the victim’s family. As a result, it is very important to treat these secondary psychological conditions to help complex regional pain syndrome victims, including their families, cope with and recover from CRPS.
- Medications – Certain classes of medications or drugs have been shown to be helpful in treating CRPS, and this seems to be mostly so when administered during the early stages of CRPS. At the time of preparation of this article, currently no drugs or medications are specifically approved by the United States Food & Drug Administration to treat complex regional pain syndrome. Further, regardless of some benefits with some people, no specific medication or combination of medications is guaranteed to be effective in treating CRPS, as each person may react differently. Meanwhile, the following are some medications used to treat people with CRPS:
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications to treat low to moderate pain, such as over-the-counter drugs like Naproxen, Advil, Motrin and ibuprofen
- Opioids like OxyContin, Vicodin, hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl
- Topical anesthetic patches and creams like lidocaine
- Botulinum toxin injections
- Medications that initially were developed to treat depression and seizures, but later shown to be helpful in treating neuropathic pain and discomfort, like duloxetine, pregabalin, nortriptyline and amitriptyline
- SIDE EFFECTS—These drugs, alone or in combination, may have harmful side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness, faster heartbeats, impaired memory and other problems. If one notices any changes post use of these drugs, one should immediately notify his or her doctor or other health care professional
- Sympathetic Nerve Block – This is a procedure whereby an anesthetic is injected next to the spine of the CRPS patient to try to directly block the activity of the sympathetic nerves and improve blood flow. Unfortunately, only some patients report temporary relief from such sympathetic nerve blocks and, at the time of publication, there is currently not any reported proof of any long term benefit.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation – This procedure involves placing electrodes through a needle into one’s spine near the appropriate portion of the spinal cord to create a tingling like feeling in the area of discomfort and pain. The procedure usually involves placing the electrode into the CRPS patient’s spine just for a few days to determine if the tingling like stimulation is of any benefit. If it proves helpful, then minor surgery is performed to implant the electrode device under one’s skin. Post implant, the electric stimulator can be controlled, including on, off and intensity, by its external controller. It has been reported that about 25% of people with this implanted device develop problems with their devices necessitating further surgeries.
- Intrathecal Drug Pumps -- These drug pumps actually pump pain-relieving drugs directly into one’s spinal cord fluid. Drugs used with this procedure usually are opioids and local anesthetics, including baclofen and clonidine. One key advantage of using such drug pumps is that the parts of the spinal cord signaling the CRPS victim’s pain can be contacted using medication dosages much less than those used with oral medications. As a result, the medication’s effectiveness is increased and its negative side effects decreased. Currently, there are no known studies evidencing the benefits of this procedure for victims of CRPS.
- Surgical Sympathectomy—This procedure, or actually operation, destroys some of the affected nerves. Some experts believe it makes or may make CRPS worse so it should not be used. Some other experts have reported favorable outcomes. Hence, this operation is controversial and many contend that it should only be used on CRPS patients whose pain is significant relieved (albeit temporarily) by sympathetic nerve blocks (discussed above). It also has been reported to lessen excessive sweating conditions.
- Alternative therapies – Some CRPS patients have reported pain relief from other therapies such as acupuncture (one such CRPS patient was a client of our law firm), chiropractic adjustment, behavior modification, and biofeedback and other relaxation techniques,
- There are several new treatments currently being explored to help CRPS victims, including Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) where Great Britain researchers are using low dosages of IVIG to successfully reduce pain in CRPS patients with acute pain; Ketamine (a strong anesthetic) is administered intravenously over several days to either eliminate or substantially reduce CRPS chronic pain; and Hyperbaric Oxygen, whereby CRPS patients are placed in an oxygen tank with pressurized air, thereby delivering greater oxygen to the CRPS patient’s organs and tissue. This hyperbaric oxygen therapy reduces swelling, discomfort and pain and also helps improve motion of people suffering from complex regional pain syndrome.
For a more in depth study on CRPS, including its treatments and therapies, please see the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Fact Sheet published by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, June 2013What You Can do if You or Someone You Know Has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS
If you or anyone you know has complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) because of any injury, including a car accident, premises liability crush injury or fall, or any other personal injury accident, be sure to get appropriate immediate medical care (which, when asked, we can assist with usually without any payment due the doctor until the case is resolved), and then please contact our CRPS personal injury lawyers for a FREE consultation.
There are many time deadlines and procedural requirements, so please do not wait and please call or email our CRPS attorneys as soon as possible or your case may be barred by the statute of limitations, certain insurance policy conditions & requirements, and/or other rules & requirements.