Are there treatments for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)?
Early detection will help in managing the condition. The primary aim of treatment is to restore full use to the painful limb, especially load bearing, e.g. standing and walking, despite the pain. Physiotherapy is a very effective treatment for CRPS. Intensive physiotherapy treatment and doing exercises taught by the physiotherapist at least twice a day are essential. Using the limb is very important. Desensitization of the skin can help to counter the skin hypersensitivity. The skin is rubbed with a series of cloths of increasing coarseness, e.g. from silk to toweling. In addition alternate immersion in hot and cold baths can help temperature sensitivity.
Care for CRPS aims to give education, pain relief, physical rehabilitation and psychological support. There is a lack of high quality evidence for the effectiveness of most individual treatments and further research is needed.
However, early treatment that looks at the whole problem is often effective. Treatment includes helping you to understand the condition and what you can do to help yourself. Other treatments may reduce pain, or be physical treatments like physiotherapy, or be support and treatment for any psychological difficulties. The right treatment for CRPS is different for each person but the aim of all treatments is to allow you to use your affected arm or leg as normally as you can. The success of some treatments may depend on how much effort you are able to put into them.