What are the symptoms of CRPS?


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is caused by an injury to the sympathetic nerves, resulting in severe pain. It is a condition which affects different people in different ways, and for some, it can be catastrophic, permanent and disabling.

There are two different kinds of CRPS:

  • Type 1 – also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS), typically occurs after a minor or major tissue injury to a limb. According to the Mayo Clinic website, around 90% of CRPS sufferers have Type 1
  • Type 2 – this kind of CRPS occurs after a distinct nerve injury, but unlike CRPS type 1, Type 2 does not migrate from the original site of the injury

Typical symptoms of CRPS include:

  • Unprovoked or spontaneous pain that can be constant or fluctuate with activity
  • Excess or prolonged pain after use or contact
  • Changes in skin temperature, skin colour, or swelling of the affected limb
  • Changes in skin texture
  • Abnormal sweating and nail and hair growth
  • Stiffness in affected joints
  • Wasting away or excess bone growth
  • Impaired muscle strength and movement

CRPS flare ups are common. With CRPS flare-ups, it is almost as if wind-up starts over again. The burning pain becomes acutely worse; pain is severe and unresponsive to almost all analgesics. Flare-ups can happen at any time due to a number of different factors including stress, fatigue, weather changes, hormones, or overexerting yourself. CRPS flare-ups can hours, days, and in some cases, months. So it is important to try and manage the flare-ups, know your triggers, and what you can do to try and calm your body and nervous system down when it happens.

CRPS Stages

Symptoms will vary for each person with CRPS and can fluctuate throughout the three clinic stages of CRPS. The three clinical stages of type 1 complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS 1) are acute, subacute, and chronic. The acute stage lasts approximately 3 months, the subacute can last for up to 9 months and the chronic stage can be permanent.

Managing CRPS pain often involves bringing together a range of different treatments, lifestyle changes and personal exercises to help your condition feel manageable and not all-encompassing. It is important to arm yourself with as much information as possible about the symptoms and the treatments available and try to get acknowledgement and help as early as possible.

If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, CRPS, or any chronic pain condition as a result of an accident that was not your fault, and even if you have an existing claim, get in touch with Brian Barr Solicitors to see if we can assist. It is simple and hassle free to move your claim to Brian Barr Solicitors who are experts in dealing with chronic pain litigation. Call us today on 0161 737 9248 or visit our website (www.brianbarr.co.uk) to find out more.

We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. The blog is for information purposes only as we are not medical professionals. We do not endorse any medical advice provided and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider before any changes to treatment and / or management of your condition is undertaken.


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