A CRPS task force looked at the evidence for the treatment of CRPS Type 1 from papers written between 1980-June 2005. A clear limitation is the fact that the search stopped in 2005. Since this time there has been some great work that has considered the cortical and tissue changes that underpin the condition. Treatment advances have really revolved around the brain changes and how we can take advantage of the nervous system’s plasticity to alter pain and function–graded motor imagery.
Clearly we need evidence that treatments are effective. Physiotherapy is the mainstay of restoring function in many conditions including CRPS. However, when working with CRPS it is vital that the knowledge of the evidence base is up-to-date, but also an in-depth understanding of the pathophysiology is vital to be able to both explain the range of symptoms and provide effective strategies in response.