symptoms of chronic painOne of Americans’ most common medical complaints is chronic pain. According to Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Furthermore, it is one of the most common causes of disability in America — for example back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in Americans who are younger than the age of 45, and more than 26 million Americans have frequent back pain.

According to data gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics, about 76.2 million Americans have had pain that lasts longer than a day, and millions more live with acute pain — one of the common culprits responsible for chronic pain. Here’s what you need to know.

1. What is CRPS?
Complex regional pain syndrome is a medical condition that causes chronic pain. It usually affects a limb after the area suffers an injury or a trauma. The condition is believed to be an issue with the nervous system, which transmits pain information through the body. The nervous system is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, and in some cases nerves fire pain signals more frequently than they need to. This is the cause of the chronic pain.

2. What are the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?
Symptoms of chronic pain are not limited to experiencing pain itself. Common symptoms of chronic pain include things like skin texture changing near the pain, abnormal hair or nail growth, stiff joints, changes in sweating patterns, and abnormal movements and reflexes in the affected area. Studies have shown that migraine pain could be connected to CRPS, and in the United States, every 10 seconds someone goes to the emergency room because of a migraine or a headache.

3. What are the treatments?
There are a few different types of treatment for CRPS. Rehabilitation and physical therapy exercises are sometimes used, which help improve blood flow. In some cases, chronic pain patients are prescribed medications to help them manage their pain. In others, relief of pain can come from minimally invasive procedures like nerve block injections which can help stop the nerve from firing pain signals.

Do you have any other questions about CRPS? Feel free to ask us in the comments section below.