Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Specialist

Nomen Azeem, MD -  - Interventional Pain Specialist

Florida Spine & Pain Specialists

Nomen Azeem, MD

Interventional Pain Specialist & Sports Medicine Specialist located in Riverview, FL & Wesley Chapel, FL

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a condition of the nervous system that causes debilitating pain. While researchers do not fully understand the cause of CRPS, treatment is available. If you have intense, unexplained pain, consider booking an appointment online or by phone with Dr. Nomen Azeem at Florida Spine & Pain Specialists, at any of the three convenient locations in Riverview or Wesley Chapel, Florida, to find out if you might have CRPS.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Q & A

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

CRPS is a chronic condition involving damage to or the malfunction of the peripheral and central nervous system. Your central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord, while your peripheral nervous system comprises all the other nerves in your body, which send and receive signals from the central nervous system.

There are two types of CRPS:

  1. CRPS-I: Once called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, CRPS-I occurs when there is no confirmed injury that could have damaged your nervous system.
  2. CRPS-II: Previously called causalgia, in cases of CRPS-II, you have experienced a confirmed injury associated with nerve injury.

What causes complex regional pain syndrome?

Experts don’t know why some people develop CRPS and others don’t. About 90% of cases of CRPS are categorized as CRPS-II and are associated with a previous injury. Injuries that can lead to CRPS are varied and include:

  • Fracture
  • Sprain or strain
  • Soft tissue injuries like bruises, cuts, or burns
  • Being in a cast
  • Surgery
  • Minor procedures (even a needle stick)

Anyone at any age can develop CRPS, but it is more common in women and people around the age of 40; it is least common in elderly people and children.

What are the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?

Constant pain is the most common symptom of CRPS, especially in your arm, leg, hand, or foot. Other symptoms include:

  • Muscle spasms, tremors, or weakness
  • Changes in skin color, texture, or temperature
  • Sensitivity to cold or to touch
  • Swelling in the area that hurts
  • Changes in hair or nail growth
  • Reduced ability to move the part of the body that hurts

What treatments are available for complex regional pain syndrome?

There is no cure for CRPS, but there are treatments that can address the symptoms and relieve the pain.

Physical therapy, psychotherapy, and pharmacological treatments are successful for some people. If those approaches are unsuccessful, Dr. Azeem may suggest:

  • Nerve blocks: an injection that numbs the nerve and prevents it from sending pain signals to the brain
  • Implanted drug pump: a device that delivers medication that disrupts pain signals sent to the brain
  • Spinal cord stimulator implant: sends electrical pulses that prevent pain signals from reaching the brain

In serious cases, Dr. Azeem may recommend surgery.

If you’re living with unexplained, debilitating pain, book an appointment with Dr. Azeem for a consultation to start down a path to a more comfortable life.