Complex regional pain syndrome : Treatment

Treatment

Treatment should be started as early as possible. This may prevent the disease from getting worse. Treatment usually includes a combination of therapies, such as:

  • Biofeedback
  • Heat and cold
  • Injected medicine that numbs the affected nerves or pain fibers around the spinal column (nerve block)
  • Internal pain pump that directly delivers medications to the spinal cord
  • Medications — pain medicines, steroids, certain blood pressure medicines, bone loss medications (such as Actonel), and antidepressants
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Spinal cord stimulator
  • Surgery that cuts the nerves to destroy the pain (surgical sympathectomy)

Prognosis (Expectations)

The outlook is better with an early diagnosis. If the doctor diagnoses the condition within the first stage, sometimes signs of the disease may disappear (remission) and normal movement is possible.

If the condition is not diagnosed quickly, changes to the bone and muscle may get worse and may not be reversible.

Complications

  • Spread of the disease to another part of the body
  • Worsening of the affected limb

Complications can also occur with some of the nerve and surgical treatments.

Calling Your Health Care Provider

Contact your health care provider if you develop constant, burning pain in an arm, leg, hand, or foot.


Review Date : 2/13/2008
Reviewed By : Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Departments of Anatomy & Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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