Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is an autoimmune condition which affects the Sympathetic Nervous System. Also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), this progressive condition results in symptoms of extreme chronic pain. In fact, it’s thought that CRPS is one of the most painful forms of chronic pain in existence. This pain is the result of miscommunication between the nervous system and the brain when responding to destruction of cells due to injury. As a result, a person with CRPS will experience intense pain disproportionate to the original injury.
CRPS can affect anyone at any age. However, it usually develops in individuals who have experienced a nerve injury, musculoskeletal injury, surgical operation, or period of immobilization. While CRPS is thought to be a rare condition, it affects over 200,000 American citizens every year. And, over 75% of these affected individuals are women.
There are four characteristics which help physicians to determine whether or not an individual may be experiencing CRPS. These characteristics include:
Pain: CRPS is known for its chronic pain symptoms which are debilitating, constant, excruciating, and offer a burning sensation. Often, patients also develop a sensitivity to any touch, sound, movement, or change in temperature.
Emotional Symptoms: Since CRPS can affect the limbic system of the brain, a number of symptoms can arise such as insomnia, trouble concentrating, debilitated memory, and confusion.
Spasms: These can occur of the muscles or blood vessels as a result of the effect on the nervous system and usually occur in the arms and/or legs.
Inflammation: This can result in bruising, itching, burning, increase in temperature, sweating, spotting of the skin, and swelling.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for CRPS. However, with treatment, symptoms of chronic pain may be manageable. However, different treatments may work for different individuals. Treatments for CRPS/RSD may include nerve blocks, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, physical therapy, steroids, spinal cord stimulators, narcotic painkillers, Calmare therapy, and more.
One treatment that may help to reduce symptoms of chronic pain and emotional distress for individuals diagnosed with CRPS is ketamine infusion therapy. For individuals who haven’t received relief from other treatments, this may be an option to consider. Basically, ketamine works by blocking receptors that are responsible for carrying pain signals to the brain. So, when ketamine is present for individuals with CRPS, painful symptoms may reduce or even disappear altogether.
If you or a loved one struggling with CRPS is looking for a new and effective way to managing symptoms of chronic pain brought on by the condition, ketamine infusion therapy may help. Here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services, we believe that patients should be able to find and establish methods for managing chronic pain. And, provide the means to do so with a number of therapy techniques, including ketamine infusion therapy.
To learn more about this type of therapy for CRPS patients, give us a call today at (925) 289-1430.