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Chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful long-lasting condition where the body has an exaggerated response to injury.

CRPS is an abnormal long-term response by the body to injury. The severity of pain may not be related to the severity of the initial injury. In some cases, the injury may not even be remembered.

People may experience pain in response to sensations which normally would not be painful in addition to skin sensitivity and skin changes.

CRPS affects 1 in 4,000 people every year.

Symptoms usually start one month after initial injury and continues even once initial injury has healed.

The main symptom is pain which is typically described as sharp, stabbing, stinging or burning.

People with chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) may also have trouble with their mobility as a result of pain.

Other symptoms include:

  • Skin sensitivity
  • Pain in response to sensations which normally would not be
  • Limb swelling
  • Changes in temperature of affected limb
  • Skin changes
  • Abnormal sweating

Chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is an abnormal long-term response by the body to injury. The severity of pain may not be related to the severity of the initial injury. In some cases, the injury may not even be remembered.

In rarer cases, CRPS can be caused by head injury, stroke or prolonged bed rest.

A holistic approach is often needed to treat chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Physiotherapy, modifications to work and home environment and psychological therapies are important aspects of patient care in addition to medications.

Simple painkillers are often first line treatment, but if these are not enough to control the associated pain other types of medications including antidepressants or gabapentin have been shown to be effective.

Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate symptom control.

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