Chicagoland Pain Management

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Bolingbrook, IL & Hinsdale, IL

CRPS, or complex regional pain syndrome, causes burning pain in the arm or leg and can result in permanent damage. Prompt treatment is essential, so if you have any symptoms of CRPS, call the pain specialists at Chicagoland Pain Management in Bolingbrook and Hinsdale, Illinois. The clinic’s dedicated physicians are experts in diagnosing and treating CRPS, so call them today to find out how they can help, or book an appointment online.


What is CRPS?

CRPS stands for complex regional pain syndrome, a condition formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). CRPS is a chronic pain condition that can affect your arms or legs, typically causing a burning pain. If you have CRPS and don’t receive treatment, the condition can lead to irreparable damage, so early intervention provides the best outcome.

Type 1 CRPS is the most common form of the condition, and it causes pain following an injury or illness where there was no nerve damage in the limb that is affected by CRPS. Type 2 CRPS, previously called causalgia, affects around 10% of patients who have CRPS. It develops following a specific injury to the nerves.

What causes CRPS?

The precise cause of CRPS isn’t certain, but research indicates that the sympathetic nervous system undergoes changes that affect sensation, temperature, and blood flow regulation. As a result, nerves, bones and soft tissues are more likely to develop problems.

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

While the main symptom of CRPS is a burning pain in the affected arm or leg that’s often severe and disabling, there are other symptoms as well:

  • Stiff joints
  • Swollen joints
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Changes in skin color or texture
  • Changes in the temperature of the skin
  • Muscle spasms
  • Changes in the way hair and nails grow
  • Muscle weakness and atrophy
  • Decreased mobility of the affected limb

Symptoms may follow a three-stage development process, although some patients remain at one stage and don’t progress through all three.

What treatments are available for CRPS?

There’s no cure for CRPS, but the expert medical team at Chicagoland Pain Management provides a range of treatments that can ease your symptoms and help prevent the condition from getting any worse. To relieve pain, your doctor can prescribe one or a combination of medications such as:

  • Painkillers
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Steroids

If these therapies aren’t providing relief from your pain, your doctor can use more aggressive forms of treatment, such as sympathetic nerve blocks, stellate ganglion blocks, or epidural infusion therapies, which are injections containing a local anesthetic, steroids, or anti-inflammatory agents delivered directly to the source of the pain.

The effects of injectable therapies can last from several hours to several months. If necessary, your doctor can also discuss long-term implant procedures such as:

  • Spinal cord stimulation (SCS)
  • Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuromodulation
  • Implanted medication delivery pumps

Physical therapy is an integral part of your treatment plan, helping to improve the function of the affected limb and reduce pain. As well as exercises, you may benefit from heat and cold therapy or TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy, and if you’re hypersensitive, desensitization techniques can help.

To learn more about CRPS and how you can find relief from your symptoms, call Chicagoland Pain Management today or book an appointment online.