Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, also known as CRPS, refers to a condition in which you experience chronic pain that worsens over time.
People who suffer from CRPS may feel pain in one particular area of their body or multiple areas in their body, such as the arms, legs, hands and feet.
There are many complex regional pain syndrome treatments available that will help prevent CRPS from worsening.
It’s important to learn more about the condition and how it develops, as well as the most effective ways to treat it. Here are six ways that you can prevent CRPS from worsening.
Use OTC Medications
Medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help relieve pain and lower swelling, but they aren’t good long-term solutions.
These medications can cause stomach bleeding and liver problems when taken in large doses or over an extended period of time.
Taking over-the-counter medications for chronic conditions like CRPS can also lead to addiction; especially if you don’t see your symptoms get better with treatment.
Heat Therapy and Cold Compressions
Cold compressions and heat therapy are essential for anyone with CRPS. Heat helps relieve pain and swelling in affected areas, while cold compresses can alleviate inflammation.
It’s important to note that ice will only work if it is wrapped in a damp cloth or paper towel.
Applying ice directly leads to more discomfort and swelling, which is counterproductive for healing.
Wearing compression socks over your entire leg can also be an effective way of dealing with swelling in both acute and chronic cases of CRPS.
Learn Your Pain Triggers
The more you learn about your symptoms, triggers and hot spots (painful areas), you can better control them. Keep a pain journal—write down when, where and how much pain you are experiencing so you can develop an understanding of which activities or situations cause it.
The Ice Method
The first method is a type of physical therapy in which ice is applied. This can help manage your pain and swelling, as well as reduce your risk of developing more inflammation in surrounding tissues. Applying ice regularly is also one way to keep it from spreading further.
Apply an ice pack or cold compress for 15-20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times each day, until your pain subsides. Always be sure not to apply too much pressure when using ice or you risk frostbite.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with CRPS, it’s important to focus on physical therapy. Your physiotherapist or pain management doctor can work with your other medical professionals to create a program that helps alleviate pain and make mobility easier. The goal is to get you moving more and experiencing less pain.
When medications and physical therapy don’t reduce your CRPS symptoms, injection treatment is an effective option offered by pain management specialists.
A sympathetic block can also help patients with CRPS pain. In case nothing works for you, a spinal cord simulator is also a CRPS treatment option that can provide relief.
If you have a limited range of motion in an area where you have CRPS, your doctor may recommend taking anti-inflammatory medications or using ice to help reduce swelling.
CRPS is a painful, debilitating disorder. That being said, there are some simple things you can do to slow the progression of CRPS and take quick complex regional pain syndrome treatment. Simply put, it’s important to avoid aggravating your condition as best as possible.