Have you been struggling with very severe intense pain in your arm or your leg after recent injury and has this been accompanied by colour change or swelling or pins and needles?
If you have been diagnosed with CRPS, or chronic regional pain syndrome, then you would benefit from the expertise of seeing a pain consultant.
What does a pain consultant actually bring to the management of CRPS?
It is important for you to understand what the treatment options are for CRPS. In CRPS the nervous system of that area gets sensitized and may even be damaged because of the injury and therefore it’s important to recognize that you have to manage the nervous system most importantly.
At the same time, we need to prevent the loss of function so the strategies that you need to put in with the help of the pain consultant need to be targeted at both these options not just the medications but also the various interventions that can be done.
It is the pain consultant and their team that can put together a treatment plan that is quick, intensive and that is tailored and individualized for your particular condition so that we can get the best outcome.
What are the treatments that can be done?
Restoration of the movement in that affected part is the most important thing so your pain consultant will be working with a specialist physiotherapist and maybe an occupational therapist and possibly even your GP to come up with a plan that’s appropriate for you. Injection based interventions could include nerve blocks or sympathetic blocks and the use of radiofrequency techniques are all possible to aid physiotherapy. Spinal cord stimulation is an accepted technique as well and if that is needed, we can discuss about that as well.
We have access to our specialist psychologist who can help create a programme that will help manage the stress and the psychological changes that can amplify the pain so getting a pain consultant’s opinion and a referral is going to be the first step.
It does not matter when you’ve had the injury. Getting the treatment and understanding your options is vital and important in getting the function and quality of life back.
The earlier you get treatment, the earlier you can get better pain relief and rehabilitation and hence better recovery and quality of life.