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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Douglas Maxey, MD -  - Pain Management Physician

Allay Spine and Pain Management

Douglas Maxey, MD

Pain Management Physician and Anesthesiologist located in McKinney, TX

If you have chronic, unexplained pain in an arm or a leg, you might have complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The best option is to talk to Douglas Maxey, MD, a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management physician, at Allay Spine and Pain Management in McKinney, Texas. Dr. Maxey offers expert diagnosis as well as customized treatments to relieve your pain and restore your quality of life. Call Allay Spine and Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A

What is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?

CRPS is a chronic pain condition that usually affects one “region” of your body, such as an arm or leg. 

CRPS causes a variety of painful and disruptive symptoms, including:

  • Continuous throbbing or burning pain
  • Sensitivity to cold 
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Swelling
  • Sweaty or cold skin
  • Blotchy skin that’s red, white, and/or blue
  • Thin or shiny skin
  • Hair and nail growth slows
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Decreased mobility

CRPS symptoms sometimes change over time, becoming progressively more severe and debilitating. The condition can also spread, for example, moving to the opposite limb. 

What causes CRPS?

While the exact cause of the condition isn’t fully understood, medical researchers have identified two types of CRPS. 

Type 1 CRPS, sometimes called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RDS), typically occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t cause nerve damage. Type 2 CRPS, called causalgia, follows a distinct nerve injury. 

How do I know if I have CRPS?

Dr. Maxey provides comprehensive testing to diagnose CRPS. He begins by reviewing your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle. 

While there isn’t a single test to confirm CRPS, Dr. Maxey can rule out other conditions and get more information about your pain with tests that may include:

  • Bone scans
  • Sweat production tests
  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • Nerve conduction studies

The more information Dr. Maxey can gather about your condition, the better equipped he is to provide effective treatment.

How do you treat CRPS?

Dr. Maxey tailors your treatment plan to address your specific needs. Many patients respond to medications, including anti-inflammatories, bone-loss medication, and sympathetic nerve-blocking medication. You might also find that topical analgesics and physical therapy relieve your pain.

However, in more severe cases, Dr. Maxey also offers more advanced treatments such as spinal cord stimulation and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. These treatments use a mild electrical current to block pain signals from traveling to your brain. 

Dr. Maxey can also provide intrathecal pain pumps to deliver medication directly into your spine. 

If you have concerns about chronic pain or CRPS, call Allay Spine and Pain Management or make an appointment with Dr. Maxey online today. 

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