What needs to be addressed to tackle CRPS?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is as the name suggests: complex, regional, painful and it is a syndrome that is a collection of signs and symptoms. The complexity stems from the different biological mechanisms at play, some of which we now understand, and the range of individual influences upon this biology. The latter is vital to consider when planning a treatment and training programme, yet often omitted. 

The mechanisms at play include inflammatory pain (neurogenic inflammation — that of nerves), mechanical pain, chemical pain and neuropathic pain. This involves activity in the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The adaptations that occur create a physiological circumstance that means the brain continues to receive information that suggests there is a problem that requires protection. This biology is hugely influenced by many other factors that equally need addressing. Here are a few to think about:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration and decision making ability
  • Stress and emotional state
  • What the individual is thinking about?
  • Where the individual is situated?
  • What have they been doing?
  • What are they thinking about doing?
  • What might they do, but they don’t know they are going to do?
  • Have they done it before?
  • Who are they with?

There are many influences! However, careful and compassionate communication reveals answers to many of these questions. Gathering clues by allowing the individual to tell their story helps decide what is affecting pain and sensitivity and subsequently which need targeting, firstly by raising awareness and secondly by changing the habits that have formed as part of a protective response.

A treatment and training programme must be comprehensive in tackling the physical, cognitive and emotional dimensions of CRPS and pain. Otherwise, you could be missing the key influence at any given moment, and this can change according to where the individual is situated, who they are with, what they are doing….it is complex, but just requires some thought.

Visit our clinic website here for details of our comprehensive treatment & training programmes for CRPS or call now to book your initial assessment: 07932 689081. Education sessions are available by request.



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