Are there any tests for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?
The diagnosis is usually made by an examination by a specialist. The diagnosis may be difficult, especially in the early stages. It is very important to diagnose CRPS as early as possible because early treatment helps you to recover more quickly.
CRPS is not an easy condition to diagnose and often referral to a Pain Clinic is necessary for an accurate diagnosis. Other possible causes of pain need to be excluded first. There is usually an event such as an injury to a limb which causes damage or immobilization. There is continuous pain out of proportion to the original injury. Not everyone with CRPS has all the symptoms but they will have some of them. 70% have increased sensitivity to pain, 80-85% have abnormal changes in temperature (feelings of hot and cold), abnormal changes in skin colour, swelling or reduced movement, 50% have abnormal sweating, and 20% have weakness, tremor, increased muscle tone or changes in hair, nail or skin growth.
There are no specific blood tests or other investigations. However, investigations may be important to rule out any other cause for your symptoms.