Hope and Possibility

Basic Facts about RSD/CRPS

Information on what patients with CRPS deal with

Physicians do not know why CRPS develops or what causes it, but CRPS is a nerve disorder that usually occurs after a traumatic injury, sprain, surgery, fracture, or period of immobilization. The principal symptom is pain dramatically disproportionate to the injury.  Video from Inside Edition by Dr. Elliot Krane provides a great overview.

(Provided by the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrohpy Syndrome Association / RSDSA)

  • In some individuals with CRPS, autoimmune antibodies that bind to autonomic and enteric neurons are present in the blood.
  • CRPS can lead to disability.
  • I may look “healthy,” but I often suffer unbearable, unrelenting, and burning nerve pain. The McGill Pain Scale rates the pain of people with CRPS higher than that of people with cancer.
  • My skin may swell, sweat, change colors, change temperature, or hurt to the slightest touch.
  • CRPS can spread.
  • Often it is difficult for me to sleep so I may have trouble with attention and concentration.
  • I may be taking powerful medications prescribed by my physician with many side effects that may affect how I feel or how I react.
  • It is often hard to move easily or keep my body steady.
  •  Chronic pain, like that caused by CRPS, often leads to depression because we undergo significant, and often negative, life changes.
  •  I have my good and bad days; my pain may even change hourly. Stress increases my pain.
  • Presently, there is no cure for CRPS. I always have hope because of the support of my family and friends and ongoing research.

What is CRPS? from Body In Mind.org

Medscape Guidelines: Background, Pathophysiology, and Epidemiology explained in this resource

Pain/Brain Connection: Survivors of childhood cancer often develop pain conditions as a result of chemotherapy

Intro to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: US Pain Foundation