What outcome can I expect if I have been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?

Each person’s experience with CRPS is different. Symptoms in some people go away (remission), remain the same or lessen. In others, CRPS will get worse and even spread to other areas of the body. Each person’s outcome is difficult to predict.

The most important goals are to relieve pain and restore movement and strength in the affected limb. By achieving pain relief, you increase the odds of improving function and quality of life. Carefully selected medications allow some patients with CRPS to successfully manage their pain and lead active lives. Other patients require additional interventions, such as nerve blocks or spinal cord stimulators to relieve pain.

The promising news is that there are many treatment options and many combinations of options that can be tried.

Because of the complexity of this condition and the fact that it is often misdiagnosed, seek out – or ask your healthcare provider to refer you to – a pain management specialist or a specialty pain center with knowledge of CRPS if:

  • You think you have symptoms of CRPS.
  • You believe your symptoms are getting worse.
  • Your condition has not responded to other treatment methods.

The earlier CRPS is diagnosed and treatment is started, the better the chance that your symptoms will not worsen and that your symptoms will respond to treatment.

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