Physical therapy is thought to be beneficial for patients with early-onset complex regional pain syndrome. This treatment may address problems with mobility, blood flow, muscle strength, muscle tone, and joint stiffness. Many patients for whom physical therapy is effective in the early stages of illness may find that it reduces the chances of their condition becoming worse or more advanced.
No one single medication can address all the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome, unfortunately. However, some can address one or two symptoms very well, and can be taken in accordance with those occurring in each individual case. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may relieve mild to moderate pain and inflammation. Oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone and cortisone, also inhibit inflammation and may result in pain relief. Some other drugs such as anticonvulsants may effectively treat muscle tightness and stiffness, if present.
Spinal cord stimulation involves the surgical implantation of a device within the spinal column that disrupts pain signals as they travel to the brain. Intrathecal pump implants deliver painkilling drugs to spinal nerves in response to a remote control (also a feature of spinal cord stimulation) that the patient can operate personally at need. These are options for patients whose pain does not respond to conventional treatment (as above).
Alternative treatments for complex regional pain syndrome include biofeedback training. This treatment involves teaching a patient to read measurements such as electroencephalographs, and how they vary in response to pain or symptoms such as skin temperature changes. The patient then applies relaxation and coping techniques that can contribute to an alleviation of symptoms. Some patients find that acupuncture, in which sterile stainless-steel needles are placed into specific points in the body to promote endorphin release, is also effective in treating their symptoms.
Complex regional pain syndrome is thought to be the result of disproportional responses in the central and peripheral nervous system as a result of tissue damage. It is characterized as chronic pain, skin abnormalities, muscular atrophy, and other symptoms.
Treatments that may manage complex regional pain syndrome include some medications, biofeedback training, or spinal cord stimulation. A discussion with your pain specialist about the nature of your pain and other symptoms will result in the best possible treatment plan for you.
Global Neuro & Spine Institute physicians are double and triple-board certified, fellowship trained, and remain on the cutting edge of technology. In our practice, we use the most advanced techniques and the highest standards to develop an individualized and comprehensive treatment plan for each of our patients. We are also very proud of our policy to place great importance on educating those we treat, while addressing any questions or concerns that may exist.
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