CRPS & The Treatments!!
Well we’re halfway through another week and I’m feeling much better after getting over a bout with the flu. This week is a busy week including a follow up visit with the neurosurgeon at the end of the week. Things have been hit and miss over the last couple of weeks in regards to my pain. Having the flu I was unable to keep my medications down so my pain level increased and this week I’ve been having a lot of pain in and around where the battery is inserted in my back.
Unfortunately there isn’t a lot that can be done for the pain where the battery is located. The battery is in a bad place on my waist line and I’ll just have to try and deal with it the best I can. I’ve had to deal with a lot of pain while dealing with my CRPS and so this is just another to add to the list. When I see the surgeon tomorrow I’ll ask him if anything can be done to get some relief but I think I already know what the answer is going to be.
Lately I’ve been getting quite a few emails asking me about the symptoms of CRPS. As well I’ve been receiving questions about what types of treatments are available. So instead of sending out the same email twenty times I thought I’d answer it in today’s post.You need to remember that I am not a doctor so I recommend consulting your doctor before trying any of these treatments.
There are two types of CRPS Type 1 and Type 2. With each of the types the symptoms and treatments are the same. With Type 1 does not have any known nerve injury where Type 2 has a clear nerve injury as the source of the pain. The cause of the pain is largely unknown however what is known is that there is clearly a malfunction in the bodies pain “alarm system”. Pain signals are given without a good reason.
There are numerous symptoms that people can show when they have CRPS, and not all cases show the same. A person living with CRPS will have chronic pain in a certain region usually an arm or a leg. Along with that however they will show a few of these symptoms as well:
- differences in temperature of the skin along with changes in color in the affected limb
- very sensitive skin
- extreme amounts of sweat in the affected limb
- swelling of one hand or foot
- weakness in one arm or leg
- changes in the hair, nails, or skin on the affected side
- decreased bone density
As time goes by there are more studies being done on how to specifically treat for CRPS. Until that time doctors continue to treat patients with methods used for chronic pain. There are three main methods of treatment at the moment:
- gabapentin or pregabalin
- serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
- calcitonin or bisphosphonates are useful to help maintain bone density and to build bone.
There are lots of different injection therapies that have been used for many years with CRPS patients. Things like sympathetic nerve blocks and intravenous regional blocks have been used. More invasive that are being used are ones like:
- intrathecal drug infusion
- motor cortex stimulation
These are non-drug therapies that can help a person to reduce pain levels and do a better job job managing their pain. These are:
- activity pacing
- cognitive behavioural therapy
These are not the only treatments out there but they are the most widely used treatments that we see being used as of this moment. I hope this answers some of the questions for those of you who wanted to know. I’ll talk to you all soon.