Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Texas Star Pain & Spine

Gonzalo Gonzales, DO

Pain Management Specialist & Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician located in Plano, TX

The nerve damage resulting from complex regional pain syndrome can cause a variety of symptoms including burning and squeezing sensations in your affected limb. Gonzalo Gonzales, Jr., MD is a talented pain management specialist at Texas Clinic Pain & Spine providing innovative treatment options for the most challenging neurological conditions for patients in Plano, Texas. Call the clinic or schedule an appointment online to learn how Dr. Gonzales can relieve your symptoms today.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare and chronic condition that typically occurs after an injury. This neurological condition usually affects your arm, hand, leg, or foot due to malfunction or damage to the central or peripheral nervous systems.

Your central nervous system is made up of your spinal cord and brain. The brain and spinal cord send signals to the rest of your body through the nerves in your peripheral nervous system. The symptoms of CRPS can vary in duration and intensity, and sometimes lead to long-term disability.

CRPS can develop in people of any age, but it’s more common for women 40-70 years of age.

What causes CRPS?

In over 90% of complex regional pain syndrome cases, obvious injuries or traumas caused the condition, including:

  • Surgery
  • Fractures
  • Strains and sprains
  • Limb immobilization
  • Minor medical procedures
  • Soft tissue injuries or bruises

It’s unknown why some people are more sensitive to these triggers, but it might be linked to genetics. In rare instances, CRPS develops without a known injury.

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

Most people who experience CRPS have constant, severe pain. Other common symptoms in the affected limb include:

  • Variations in hair and nail growth
  • Burning or “pins and needles” sensations
  • Pain in the entire area or only a finger or toe
  • Changes in skin color, temperature, or texture
  • Decreased mobility and lack of muscle coordination
  • Tremors, jerking, or abnormal movement in the limb

You might also notice abnormal sweating in the affected area.

How is CRPS diagnosed and treated?

Dr. Gonzales diagnoses CRPS during a careful physical examination that includes a review of your symptoms, visual signs, and medical history.

As a skilled interventional pain physician and physiatrist, Dr. Gonzales offers several high-quality noninvasive treatment strategies including medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications. He also provides interventional pain solutions to provide more immediate relief including spinal cord stimulators and sympathetic blocks and neurolysis.

A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) uses electric currents to relieve nerve pain by blocking or modifying pain messages to the brain. Before permanently implanting the SCS device, a temporary trial is performed to see if it eases your symptoms.

Sympathetic blocks and neurolysis use anesthetic injections to completely block the function of the affected nerves to provide pain relief.

Call Texas Clinic Pain & Spine or schedule an appointment online to learn more about CRPS treatments.