CRPS Bugle | March 2014

bugle-450-pic-rexfeatures-271436732Welcome to the March CRPS Bugle, an update on the latest research into complex regional pain syndrome, also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).

Visit our clinic site here for information about our specialist CRPS Clinics.

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J Foot Ankle Surg. 2014 Mar 5. pii: S1067-2516(14)00007-6. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2014.01.006.

Incidence of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome after Foot and Ankle Surgery.

Rewhorn MJ1, Leung AH2, Gillespie A3, Moir JS3, Miller R4.

Abstract
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is an uncommon complication of orthopedic surgery, and few investigators have considered the incidence in foot and ankle surgery. In the present retrospective cohort study of 390 patients who had undergone elective foot and/or ankle surgery in our department from January to December 2009, the incidence of postoperative CRPS was calculated and explanatory variables were analyzed. A total of 17 patients (4.36%) were identified as meeting the International Association for the Study of Pain criteria for the diagnosis of CRPS. Of the 17 patients with CRPS, the mean age was 47.2 ± 9.7 years, and 14 (82.35%) were female. All the operations were elective, and 9 (52.94%) involved the forefoot, 3 (17.65%) the hindfoot, 3 (17.65%) the ankle, and 2 (11.76%) the midfoot. Twelve patients (70.59%) had new-onset CRPS after a primary procedure, and 5 (29.41%) had developed CRPS after multiple surgeries. Three patients (17.65%) had documented nerve damage intraoperatively and thus developed new-onset CRPS type 2. Blood test results were available for 14 patients (82.35%) at a minimum of 3 months postoperatively, and none had elevated inflammatory markers. Five of the patients (29.41%) were smokers, and 8 (47.06%) had had a pre-existing diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression. From our findings, we recommend that middle-age females and those with a history of anxiety or depression, who will undergo elective foot surgery, should be counseled regarding the risk of developing CRPS during the consent process. We recommend similar studies be undertaken in other orthopedic units, and we currently are collecting data from other orthopedic departments within Scotland

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Rehabil Psychol. 2014 Mar 10.

Thought Intrusion Among Adults Living With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Lohnberg JA, Altmaier EM.

Abstract

Purpose: This study investigated the presence and influence of intrusive thoughts among adults previously diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome. Method: The present study used an Internet-based survey completed by a sample (N = 326) from two national organizations. Results: After controlling for age, gender, and pain level, intrusive thoughts were significantly related to disability and health-related quality of life. Conclusions/Implications: Intrusive thoughts about the inciting event that caused CRPS uniquely influenced pain and quality of life, suggesting a potential mechanism to target for intervention. Understanding factors that relate to maintenance of CRPS and its resulting disability will help in the development of treatments to improve quality of life.

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Brain. 2013 Jul;136(Pt 7):2038-49. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt150. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Secondary and primary dystonia: pathophysiological differences.

Kojovic M1, Pareés I, Kassavetis P, Palomar FJ, Mir P, Teo JT, Cordivari C, Rothwell JC, Bhatia KP, Edwards MJ.

Abstract
Primary dystonia is thought to be a disorder of the basal ganglia because the symptoms resemble those of patients who have anatomical lesions in the same regions of the brain (secondary dystonia). However, these two groups of patients respond differently to therapy suggesting differences in pathophysiological mechanisms. Pathophysiological deficits in primary dystonia are well characterized and include reduced inhibition at many levels of the motor system and increased plasticity, while emerging evidence suggests additional cerebellar deficits. We compared electrophysiological features of primary and secondary dystonia, using transcranial magnetic stimulation of motor cortex and eye blink classical conditioning paradigm, to test whether dystonia symptoms share the same underlying mechanism. Eleven patients with hemidystonia caused by basal ganglia or thalamic lesions were tested over both hemispheres, corresponding to affected and non-affected side and compared with 10 patients with primary segmental dystonia with arm involvement and 10 healthy participants of similar age. We measured resting motor threshold, active motor threshold, input/output curve, short interval intracortical inhibition and cortical silent period. Plasticity was probed using an excitatory paired associative stimulation protocol. In secondary dystonia cerebellar-dependent conditioning was measured using delayed eye blink classical conditioning paradigm and results were compared with the data of patients with primary dystonia obtained previously. We found no difference in motor thresholds, input/output curves or cortical silent period between patients with secondary and primary dystonia or healthy controls. In secondary dystonia short interval intracortical inhibition was reduced on the affected side, whereas it was normal on the non-affected side. Patients with secondary dystonia had a normal response to the plasticity protocol on both the affected and non-affected side and normal eye blink classical conditioning that was not different from healthy participants. In contrast, patients with primary dystonia showed increased cortical plasticity and reduced eye blink classical conditioning. Normal motor cortex plasticity in secondary dystonia demonstrates that abnormally enhanced cortical plasticity is not required for clinical expression of dystonia, and normal eye blink conditioning suggests an absence of functional cerebellar involvement in this form of dystonia. Reduced short interval intracortical inhibition on the side of the lesion may result from abnormal basal ganglia output or may be a consequence of maintaining an abnormal dystonic posture. Dystonia appears to be a motor symptom that can reflect different pathophysiological states triggered by a variety of insults.

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Int J Rheum Dis. 2014 Feb;17(2):156-8. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.12140. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

Antioxidant profile in patients with complex regional pain syndrome type I.

Baykal T1, Seferoglu B, Karsan O, Kiziltunc A, Senel K.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type I is one of the most important problems with regard to physical medicine and rehabilitation. CRPS may cause not only higher therapeutic costs but also greater work time loss. The mechanism and pathogenesis of CRPS still remains unknown. Some findings indicating oxidative stress have been reported. This study was carried out to determine the role of oxidative stress in patients with CRPS.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Twenty patients (13 women and seven men) with CRPS and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Complex regional pain syndrome was diagnosed according to the modified International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) criteria. We evaluated demographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics of the patients. Antioxidant enzymatic activities consisting of serum superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathion peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities were measured using appropriate methods and compared with healthy controls.
RESULTS:
The mean age of the patients was 39.5 years and the mean duration of symptoms was 5.5 months. Complex regional pain syndrome devoleped after a traumatic event in 90% of patients. In 10% of patients there were no traumatic events. SOD, GPX and GST levels were significantly higher in patients with CRPS than healthy controls (P = 0.012, P = 0.036 and P = 0.016, respectively).
CONCLUSION:
Our findings suggest a possible role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of CRPS

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J Pain. 2014 Feb 11. pii: S1526-5900(14)00565-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2014.01.500.

The Outcome of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1: A Systematic Review

Bean DJ1, Johnson MH2, Kydd RR3.

Abstract
The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the outcome of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type-1. We searched Medline, Embase and Psychinfo for relevant studies, and included 18 studies, with 3991 participants, in this review. The following data were extracted: study details, measurement tools used, and rates or severity scores for the symptoms/signs of CRPS at baseline and follow-up, or in groups of patients with different disease durations. A quality assessment revealed significant limitations in the literature, with many studies utilising different diagnostic criteria. The 3 prospective studies demonstrated that for many patients, symptoms improve markedly within 6-13 months of onset. The 12 retrospective studies had highly heterogeneous findings, documenting lasting impairments in many patients. The 3 cross-sectional studies showed that rates of pain and sensory symptoms were highest amongst those with the longest duration of CRPS. Additionally, most studies showed that motor symptoms (stiffness and weakness) were the most likely to persist whilst sudomotor and vasomotor symptoms were the most likely to improve. Overall, this suggests that some CRPS patients make a good early recovery whilst others develop lasting pain and disability. As yet little is known about the prognostic factors that might differentiate between these groups.
PERSPECTIVE:
We found evidence that many CRPS patients recover within 6-13 months, but a significant number experience some lasting symptoms, and some experience chronic pain and disability. The quality of the evidence was poor. Future research should examine the factors associated with recovery and identify those at risk of poor outcomes

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Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Feb;39(3):508-19. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12462

The neurobiology of skeletal pain.

Mantyh PW.

Abstract
Disorders of the skeleton are one of the most common causes of chronic pain and long-term physical disability in the world. Chronic skeletal pain is caused by a remarkably diverse group of conditions including trauma-induced fracture, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, low back pain, orthopedic procedures, celiac disease, sickle cell disease and bone cancer. While these disorders are diverse, what they share in common is that when chronic skeletal pain occurs in these disorders, there are currently few therapies that can fully control the pain without significant unwanted side effects. In this review we focus on recent advances in our knowledge concerning the unique population of primary afferent sensory nerve fibers that innervate the skeleton, the nociceptive and neuropathic mechanisms that are involved in driving skeletal pain, and the neurochemical and structural changes that can occur in sensory and sympathetic nerve fibers and the CNS in chronic skeletal pain. We also discuss therapies targeting nerve growth factor or sclerostin for treating skeletal pain. These therapies have provided unique insight into the factors that drive skeletal pain and the structural decline that occurs in the aging skeleton. We conclude by discussing how these advances have changed our understanding and potentially the therapeutic options for treating and/or preventing chronic pain in the injured, diseased and aged skeleton

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CRPS Bugle 17th Sept 2013 | #CRPS

CRPS BugleHere are some of the Cochrane Reviews relating to CRPS and chronic pain:

Local anaesthetic sympathetic blockade for complex regional pain syndrome.

Stanton TR, Wand BM, Carr DB, Birklein F, Wasner GL, O’Connell NE.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Aug 19;8:CD004598. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004598.pub3.

Source
Neuroscience Research Australia, Randwick, Australia.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
This is an update of the original Cochrane review published in The Cochrane Library, 2005, Issue 4, on local anaesthetic blockade (LASB) of the sympathetic chain used to treat complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

OBJECTIVES:
To assess the efficacy of LASB for the treatment of pain in CRPS and to evaluate the incidence of adverse effects of the procedure.

SEARCH METHODS:
We updated searches of the Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) on the Cochrane Library (Issue 11 of 12, 2012), MEDLINE (1966 to 22/11/12), EMBASE (1974 to 22/11/12), LILACS (1982 to 22/11/12), conference abstracts of the World Congresses of the International Association for the Study of Pain (1995 to 2010), and various clinical trial registers (inception to 2012). We also searched bibliographies from retrieved articles for additional studies.

SELECTION CRITERIA:
We considered for inclusion randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effect of sympathetic blockade with local anaesthetics in children or adults with CRPS.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:
The outcomes of interest were reduction in pain intensity levels, the proportion who achieved moderate or substantial pain relief, the duration of pain relief, and the presence of adverse effects in each treatment arm.

MAIN RESULTS:
We included an additional 10 studies (combined n = 363) in this update. Overall we include 12 studies (combined n = 386). All included studies were assessed to be at high or unclear risk of bias.Three small studies compared LASB to placebo/sham. We were able to pool the results from two of these trials (intervention n = 23). Pooling did not demonstrate significant short-term benefit for LASB (in terms of the risk of a 50% reduction of pain scores).Of two studies that investigated LASB as an addition to rehabilitation treatment, the only study that reported pain outcomes demonstrated no additional benefit from LASB.Eight small randomised studies compared sympathetic blockade to another active intervention. Most studies found no difference in pain outcomes between sympathetic block and other active treatments.Only five studies reported adverse effects, all with minor effects reported.

AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS:
This update has found similar results to the original systematic review. There remains a scarcity of published evidence to support the use of local anaesthetic sympathetic blockade for CRPS. From the existing evidence it is not possible to draw firm conclusions regarding the efficacy or safety of this intervention but the limited data available do not suggest that LASB is effective for reducing pain in CRPS

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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Sep 2;9:CD002918. [Epub ahead of print]
Cervico-thoracic or lumbar sympathectomy for neuropathic pain and complex regional pain syndrome.
Straube S, Derry S, Moore RA, Cole P.

Source
Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen, Waldweg 37 B, Göttingen, Germany, D-37073.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
This review is an update of a review first published in Issue 2, 2003, which was substantially updated in Issue 7, 2010. The concept that many neuropathic pain syndromes (traditionally this definition would include complex regional pain syndromes (CRPS)) are “sympathetically maintained pains” has historically led to treatments that interrupt the sympathetic nervous system. Chemical sympathectomies use alcohol or phenol injections to destroy ganglia of the sympathetic chain, while surgical ablation is performed by open removal or electrocoagulation of the sympathetic chain or by minimally invasive procedures using thermal or laser interruption.

OBJECTIVES:
To review the evidence from randomised, double blind, controlled trials on the efficacy and safety of chemical and surgical sympathectomy for neuropathic pain, including complex regional pain syndrome. Sympathectomy may be compared with placebo (sham) or other active treatment, provided both participants and outcome assessors are blind to treatment group allocation.

SEARCH METHODS:
On 2 July 2013, we searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Oxford Pain Relief Database. We reviewed the bibliographies of all randomised trials identified and of review articles and also searched two clinical trial databases, ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, to identify additional published or unpublished data. We screened references in the retrieved articles and literature reviews and contacted experts in the field of neuropathic pain.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised, double blind, placebo or active controlled studies assessing the effects of sympathectomy for neuropathic pain and CRPS.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:
Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and validity, and extracted data. No pooled analysis of data was possible.

MAIN RESULTS:
Only one study satisfied our inclusion criteria, comparing percutaneous radiofrequency thermal lumbar sympathectomy with lumbar sympathetic neurolysis using phenol in 20 participants with CRPS. There was no comparison of sympathectomy versus sham or placebo. No dichotomous pain outcomes were reported. Average baseline scores of 8-9/10 on several pain scales fell to about 4/10 initially (1 day) and remained at 3-5/10 over four months. There were no significant differences between groups, except for “unpleasant sensation”, which was higher with radiofrequency ablation. One participant in the phenol group experienced post sympathectomy neuralgia, while two in the radiofrequency group and one in the phenol group complained of paraesthesia during needle positioning. All participants had soreness at the injection site.

AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS:
The practice of surgical and chemical sympathectomy for neuropathic pain and CRPS is based on very little high quality evidence. Sympathectomy should be used cautiously in clinical practice, in carefully selected patients, and probably only after failure of other treatment options. In these circumstances, establishing a clinical register of sympathectomy may help to inform treatment options on an individual patient basis.

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Psychological therapies for the management of chronic and recurrent pain in children and adolescents

Eccleston C, Palermo TM, Williams AC de C, Lewandowski A, Morley S, Fisher E, Law E
Published Online: August 23, 2013
– See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD003968/psychological-therapies-for-the-management-of-chronic-and-recurrent-pain-in-children-and-adolescents#sthash.eWN3HPP5.dpuf

Background:
Chronic pain affects many children, who report severe pain, distressed mood, and disability. Psychological therapies are emerging as effective interventions to treat children with chronic or recurrent pain. This update adds recently published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to the review published in 2009.

Objectives:
To assess the effectiveness of psychological therapies, principally cognitive behavioural therapy and behavioural therapy, for reducing pain, disability, and improving mood in children and adolescents with recurrent, episodic, or persistent pain. We also assessed the risk of bias and methodological quality of the included studies.

Search strategy:
Searches were undertaken of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycLIT. We searched for RCTs in references of all identified studies, meta-analyses and reviews. Date of most recent search: March 2012.

Selection criteria:
RCTs with at least 10 participants in each arm post-treatment comparing psychological therapies with active treatment were eligible for inclusion (waiting list or standard medical care) for children or adolescents with episodic, recurrent or persistent pain.

Data collection and analysis:
All included studies were analysed and the quality of the studies recorded. All treatments were combined into one class: psychological treatments; headache and non-headache outcomes were separately analysed on three outcomes: pain, disability, and mood. Data were extracted at two time points; post-treatment (immediately or the earliest data available following end of treatment) and at follow-up (at least three months after the post-treatment assessment point, but not more than 12 months).

Main results:
Eight studies were added in this update of the review, giving a total of 37 studies. The total number of participants completing treatments was 1938. Twenty-one studies addressed treatments for headache (including migraine); seven for abdominal pain; four included mixed pain conditions including headache pain, two for fibromyalgia, two for pain associated with sickle cell disease, and one for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Analyses revealed five significant effects. Pain was found to improve for headache and non-headache groups at post-treatment, and for the headache group at follow-up. Mood significantly improved for the headache group at follow-up, although, this should be interpreted with caution as there were only two small studies entered into the analysis. Finally, disability significantly improved in the non-headache group at post-treatment. There were no other significant effects.

Authors’ conclusions:
Psychological treatments are effective in reducing pain intensity for children and adolescents (<18 years) with headache and benefits from therapy appear to be maintained. Psychological treatments also improve pain and disability for children with non-headache pain. There is limited evidence available to estimate the effects of psychological therapies on mood for children and adolescents with headache and non-headache pain. There is also limited evidence to estimate the effects on disability in children with headache. These conclusions replicate and add to those of the previous review which found psychological therapies were effective in reducing pain intensity for children with headache and non-headache pain conditions, and these effects were maintained at follow-up.

Visit our clinic site here: Specialist Pain Physio Clinics

‘The mystery of chronic pain’ TED Talk #pain

Elliot Krane talks about his 20 years experience of working with individuals who suffer complex pain. He describes a common scenario that I see in my clinic, whereby the pain has persisted beyond the expected timeline, sometimes by many years, and is accompanied by a range of other signs and symptoms that are all manifestations of the sensitivity that has evolved and become entrenched. This includes a variety of protective behaviours and beliefs about pain and what it means, the latter usually informing the former. The belief system is molded by experiences throughout life and messages given by those responsible for their healthcare. These messages and metaphors can often evoke potent imagery and fear that leads to avoidance and strategies that appear to be useful but are actually preventing the move forwards.

Moving forwards is a challenge. But, we are designed to change, grow and develop. Hence by creating the right conditions, this is what we can achieve with the understanding of pain biology, a range of effective movement based strategies, a toolbox of motivational techniques, a progressive plan, courage, belief in oneself (self-efficacy), support, perseverance and some brain focused therapies.


Please visit our clinic site here to learn more about our treatment, training and coaching programmes or call us: 07932 689081

#CRPS Bugle | 22nd May

Welcome to the CRPS Bugle – an update on the latest research papers and other literature that is pushing forward our understanding of the condition.

Anti tumor Necrosis Factor – Alpha Adalimumab for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1 (CRPS-I): A Case Series.

Eisenberg E, Sandler I, Treister R, Suzan E, Haddad M.

Pain Pract. 2013 May 13. doi: 10.1111/papr.12070. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Evidence suggests tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) mediates, at least in part, symptoms and signs in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Here, we present a case series of patients with CRPS type 1, in whom the response to the anti-TNF-α adalimumab was assessed.

METHODS:

Ten patients with CRPS type 1 were recruited. Assessments were performed before treatment, at 1 week, and 1, 3, and 6 months following 3 biweekly subcutaneous injections (40 mg/0.8 mL) adalimumab (Humira® ) and included the followings: Pain intensity using a 0-10 cm visual analog scale; the Short Form of the McGill Pain Questionnaire; the Beck Depression Inventory; the SF-36 questionnaire and mechanical and thermal thresholds (Von frey hair and Thermal Sensory Analyzer, respectively). In addition to the description of individual patient responses, both intention to treat (ITT) and per-protocol (PP) analyses were performed for the entire group.

RESULTS:

Three subgroups of patients were identified (3 patients in each): “nonresponders”, “partial responders”, and “robust responders” in whom improvement in almost all parameters was noted. Both the ITT and PP analyses demonstrated only a trend toward improvement in mechanical pain thresholds following treatment (ITT χ² = 13.83, P = 0.008; PP χ² = 10.29, P = 0.036).

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest adalimumab, and possibly other anti-TNF-α, can be potentially useful in some (although not in all) patients with CRPS type 1. These preliminary results along with the growing body of evidence which points to the involvement of TNF-α in the pathogenesis of CRPS justify further studies in this area.

RS – interesting findings adding to the data on targeting the imune system for CRPS. We must bear in mind that this is a case series and not an RCT. Modern thinkers in pain talk about a neuroimmune system as the two have been shown to be interactive to the point that they can be viewed as one biological system. To tackle the problem of persisting pain, we must think about and test methods that target immune activity. 

 

Children and adolescents with complex regional pain syndrome: More psychologically distressed than other children in pain?

Logan DE, Williams SE, Carullo VP, Claar RL, Bruehl S, Berde CB.

Pain Res Manag. 2013 Mar-Apr;18(2):87-93.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Historically, in both adult and pediatric populations, a lack of knowledge regarding complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and absence of clear diagnostic criteria have contributed to the view that this is a primarily psychiatric condition.

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that children with CRPS are more functionally disabled, have more pain and are more psychologically distressed than children with other pain conditions.

METHODS: A total of 101 children evaluated in a tertiary care pediatric pain clinic who met the International Association for the Study of Pain consensus diagnostic criteria for CRPS participated in the present retrospective study. Comparison groups included 103 children with abdominal pain, 291 with headache and 119 with back pain. Children and parents completed self-report questionnaires assessing disability, somatization, pain coping, depression, anxiety and school attendance.

RESULTS: Children with CRPS reported higher pain intensity and more recent onset of pain at the initial tertiary pain clinic evaluation compared with children with other chronic pain conditions. They reported greater functional disability and more somatic symptoms than children with headaches or back pain. Scores on measures of depression and anxiety were within normal limits and similar to those of children in other pain diagnostic groups.

CONCLUSIONS: As a group, clinic-referred children with CRPS may be more functionally impaired and experience more somatic symptoms compared with children with other pain conditions. However, overall psychological functioning as assessed by self-report appears to be similar to that of children with other chronic pain diagnoses. Comprehensive assessment using a biopsychosocial framework is essential to understanding and appropriately treating children with symptoms of CRPS.

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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Dec 12;12:CD003968. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003968.pub3.

Psychological therapies for the management of chronic and recurrent pain in children and adolescents.

Eccleston C, Palermo TM, de C Williams AC, Lewandowski A, Morley S, Fisher E, Law E.

Source

Centre for Pain Research, The University of Bath, Bath, UK. c.eccleston@bath.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic pain affects many children, who report severe pain, distressed mood, and disability. Psychological therapies are emerging as effective interventions to treat children with chronic or recurrent pain. This update adds recently published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to the review published in 2009.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the effectiveness of psychological therapies, principally cognitive behavioural therapy and behavioural therapy, for reducing pain, disability, and improving mood in children and adolescents with recurrent, episodic, or persistent pain. We also assessed the risk of bias and methodological quality of the included studies.

SEARCH METHODS:

Searches were undertaken of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycLIT. We searched for RCTs in references of all identified studies, meta-analyses and reviews. Date of most recent search: March 2012.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

RCTs with at least 10 participants in each arm post-treatment comparing psychological therapies with active treatment were eligible for inclusion (waiting list or standard medical care) for children or adolescents with episodic, recurrent or persistent pain.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

All included studies were analysed and the quality of the studies recorded. All treatments were combined into one class: psychological treatments; headache and non-headache outcomes were separately analysed on three outcomes: pain, disability, and mood. Data were extracted at two time points; post-treatment (immediately or the earliest data available following end of treatment) and at follow-up (at least three months after the post-treatment assessment point, but not more than 12 months).

MAIN RESULTS:

Eight studies were added in this update of the review, giving a total of 37 studies. The total number of participants completing treatments was 1938. Twenty-one studies addressed treatments for headache (including migraine); seven for abdominal pain; four included mixed pain conditions including headache pain, two for fibromyalgia, two for pain associated with sickle cell disease, and one for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Analyses revealed five significant effects. Pain was found to improve for headache and non-headache groups at post-treatment, and for the headache group at follow-up. Mood significantly improved for the headache group at follow-up, although, this should be interpreted with caution as there were only two small studies entered into the analysis. Finally, disability significantly improved in the non-headache group at post-treatment. There were no other significant effects.

AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS:

Psychological treatments are effective in reducing pain intensity for children and adolescents (<18 years) with headache and benefits from therapy appear to be maintained. Psychological treatments also improve pain and disability for children with non-headache pain. There is limited evidence available to estimate the effects of psychological therapies on mood for children and adolescents with headache and non-headache pain. There is also limited evidence to estimate the effects on disability in children with headache. These conclusions replicate and add to those of the previous review which found psychological therapies were effective in reducing pain intensity for children with headache and non-headache pain conditions, and these effects were maintained at follow-up.

RS – Both of these pieces of work highlight the need for a comprehensive approach that target the physical, cognitive and emotional dimensions of pain.

For further information about our CRPS clinic in London and Surrey, call us on 07932 689081 or visit our clinic site here: Specialist Pain Physio Clinics

CRPS Briefing | January 2013

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone has had a good Christmas period.

Welcome to the first CRPS briefing for 2013. I am particularly interested in Luke Parkitny’s review on inflammation in CRPS as this is an area we must think about and address, as well as some interesting work looking at gut bacteria and CRPS.

The gut is supplied by its own nervous system (the enteric nervous system), often called the second brain. This system is autonomic (sympathetic and parasympathetic branches) and certainly responds to how we feel and think; e.g. think about lunch and your tummy rumbles and think about giving a speech to a large group and feel your palms moisten. There is well known communication between the gut and the brain and it seems that this plays a role in our mood. Many people whom I see with persisting pain and sensitivity will complain of abdominal pain and bloating (IBS-type presentation). This study has found some differences between the gut bacteria of CRPS patients, opening an interesting line of thought and enquiry.

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Neurology. 2013 Jan 1;80(1):106-17. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31827b1aa1.

Inflammation in complex regional pain syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Parkitny L, McAuley JH, Di Pietro F, Stanton TR, O’Connell NE, Marinus J, van Hilten JJ, Moseley GL.

Source

From Neuroscience Research Australia (L.P., J.H.M., F.D.P., T.R.S.) and Prince of Wales Clinical School (L.P., F.D.P.), University of New South Wales, Sydney; Sansom Institute for Health Research (T.R.S., G.L.M.), University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; Centre for Research in Rehabilitation (N.E.O), Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK; Department of Neurology (J.M., J.J.v.H.), Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We conducted a systematic review of the literature with meta-analysis to determine whether complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is associated with a specific inflammatory profile and whether this is dependent on the duration of the condition.

METHODS:

Comprehensive searches of the literature using MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, and reference lists from published reviews identified articles that measured inflammatory factors in CRPS. Two independent investigators screened titles and abstracts, and performed data extraction and risk of bias assessments. Studies were subgrouped by medium (blood, blister fluid, and CSF) and duration (acute and chronic CRPS). Where possible, meta-analyses of inflammatory factor concentrations were performed and pooled effect sizes were calculated using random-effects models.

RESULTS:

Twenty-two studies were included in the systematic review and 15 in the meta-analysis. In acute CRPS, the concentrations of interleukin (IL)-8 and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptors I (sTNF-RI) and II (sTNF-RII) were significantly increased in blood. In chronic CRPS, significant increases were found in 1) TNFα, bradykinin, sIL-1RI, IL-1Ra, IL-2, sIL-2Ra, IL-4, IL-7, interferon-γ, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and sRAGE (soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products) in blood; 2) IL-1Ra, MCP-1, MIP-1β, and IL-6 in blister fluid; and 3) IL-1β and IL-6 in CSF. Chronic CRPS was also associated with significantly decreased 1) substance P, sE-selectin, sL-selectin, sP-selectin, and sGP130 in blood; and 2) soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) in CSF. Most studies failed to meet 3 or more of our quality criteria.

CONCLUSION:

CRPS is associated with the presence of a proinflammatory state in the blood, blister fluid, and CSF. Different inflammatory profiles were found for acute and chronic cases.

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J Pain. 2013 Jan;14(1):66-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2012.10.004. – click here

Topical Combinations Aimed at Treating Microvascular Dysfunction Reduce Allodynia in Rat Models of CRPS-I and Neuropathic Pain.

Ragavendran JV, Laferrière A, Xiao WH, Bennett GJ, Padi SS, Zhang J, Coderre TJ.

Source

Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; Department of Anesthesia, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Abstract

Growing evidence indicates that various chronic pain syndromes exhibit tissue abnormalities caused by microvasculature dysfunction in the blood vessels of skin, muscle, or nerve. We tested whether topical combinations aimed at improving microvascular function would relieve allodynia in animal models of complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS-I) and neuropathic pain. We hypothesized that topical administration of either α(2)-adrenergic (α(2)A) receptor agonists or nitric oxide (NO) donors combined with either phosphodiesterase (PDE) or phosphatidic acid (PA) inhibitors would effectively reduce allodynia in these animal models of chronic pain. Single topical agents produced significant dose-dependent antiallodynic effects in rats with chronic postischemia pain, and the antiallodynic dose-response curves of PDE and PA inhibitors were shifted 2.5- to 10-fold leftward when combined with nonanalgesic doses of α(2)A receptor agonists or NO donors. Topical combinations also produced significant antiallodynic effects in rats with sciatic nerve injury, painful diabetic neuropathy, and chemotherapy-induced painful neuropathy. These effects were shown to be produced by a local action, lasted up to 6 hours after acute treatment, and did not produce tolerance over 15 days of chronic daily dosing. The present results support the hypothesis that allodynia in animal models of CRPS-I and neuropathic pain is effectively relieved by topical combinations of α(2)A or NO donors with PDE or PA inhibitors. This suggests that topical treatments aimed at improving microvascular function may reduce allodynia in patients with CRPS-I and neuropathic pain. PERSPECTIVE: This article presents the synergistic antiallodynic effects of combinations of α(2)A or NO donors with PDE or PA inhibitors in animal models of CRPS-I and neuropathic pain. The data suggest that effective clinical treatment of chronic neuropathic pain may be achieved by therapies that alleviate microvascular dysfunction in affected areas.

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Brain Behav Immun. 2012 Dec 18. pii: S0889-1591(12)00535-1. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2012.12.005. [Epub ahead of print]

Establishing a Relationship between Bacteria in the Human Gut and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Reichenberger ER, Alexander GM, Perreault MJ, Russell JA, Schwartzman RJ, Hershberg U, Rosen G.

Source

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University.

Abstract

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a serious and painful condition involving the peripheral and central nervous systems. Full comprehension of the disorder’s pathophysiology remains incomplete, but research implicates the immune system as a contributor to chronic pain. Because of the impact gastrointestinal bacteria have in the development and behavior of the immune system, this study compares the GI microbial communities of 16 participants with CRPS (5 of whom have intestinal discomforts) and 16 healthy controls using 454 sequencing technology. CRPS subjects were found to have significantly less diversity than their healthy counterparts. Statistical analysis of the phylogenetic classifications revealed significantly increased levels of Proteobacteria and decreased levels of Firmicutes in CRPS subjects. Clustering analysis showed significant separation between healthy controls and CRPS subjects. These results support the hypothesis that the GI microbial communities of CRPS participants differ from those of their healthy counterparts. These variations may hold the key to understanding how CRPS develops and provide information that could yield a potential treatment.

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Pain Res Manag. 2012 Nov-Dec;17(6):386-90. – click here

Complex regional pain syndrome in children: Asking the right questions.

Goldschneider KR.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful disorder without a known unifying mechanism. There are little data on which to base evaluation and treatment decisions, and what data are available come from studies involving adults; however, even that literature is relatively sparse. Developing robust research for CRPS in children is essential for the progress toward optimal treatment.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine potential avenues of research in pediatric CRPS based on a review of the literature. Areas of concern include diagnostic criteria, peripheral mechanisms, central nervous system mechanisms, the role of the autonomic nervous system, possible risk factors, options for prevention and potential avenues of treatment.

METHODS:

A literature review was performed and the results applied to form the hypotheses posited in the form of research questions

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:

CRPS is a complicated entity that is more than a painful sensory condition. There is evidence for peripheral inflammatory and neurological changes, and reorganization in both sensory and motor cortexes. In addition, a significant motor component is frequently observed and there appear to be tangible risk factors. Many of these pieces of evidence suggest options for prevention, treatment and monitoring progress and outcome. Most of the data are derived from adult studies and need to be replicated in children. Furthermore, there may be factors unique to pediatrics due to developmental changes in neuroplasticity as well as somatic, endocrinological and emotional growth. Some of these developmental factors may shed light on the adult condition.

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Autoimmun Rev. 2012 Dec 6. pii: S1568-9972(12)00273-X. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2012.10.015. [Epub ahead of print] – click here

Complex regional pain syndrome, prototype of a novel kind of autoimmune disease.

Goebel A, Blaes F.

Source

Pain Research Institute, Department of Translational Medicine, Liverpool University, Liverpool, UK; The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK. Electronic address: andreasgoebel@rocketmail.com.

Abstract

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful condition, which arises in a limb after trauma. CRPS can profoundly affect patients’ quality of life, and there is no cure. CRPS is associated with limb-confined sensory, motor, skin, bone and autonomic abnormalities. Recent research has shown that some patients respond to treatment with immunoglobulins, and that a majority have IgG serum-autoantibodies directed against, and activating autonomic receptors. CRPS serum-IgG, when transferred to mice elicits abnormal behaviour. These results suggest that CRPS is associated with an autoantibody-mediated autoimmune process in some cases. CRPS has unusual features, including a non-destructive, and regionally-confined course. We propose that CRPS constitutes a prototype of a new kind of autoimmunity, which we term ‘IRAM’ (injury-triggered, regionally-restricted autoantibody-mediated autoimmune disorder with minimally-destructive course). Understanding autoimmune contribution to CRPS should allow the exploration of novel treatment modalities in the future. Additional ‘functional’ disorders, painful or painless may be autoimmune in nature.

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Please visit our clinic page here for more details on treatment and training for CRPS

CRPS in children: the literature

CRPS affects both adults and children. There is no reason as best the science tells us, that the pathophysiology should be different, involving both central and peripheral mechanisms. This includes inflammation, central nervous system adaptation, immune system activity and the wide range of possible psychosocial influences.

In any persisting condition it is important to be patient-centred and to involve significant others, family and friends. The influence of others’ behaviours should not be underestimated. With children in pain, the primary caregivers are intricately involved in offering loving support, making treatment choices and motivating the young patient to follow the treatment programme.

We learn how to respond to pain early in life, frequently mirroring the behaviours of those around us and looking to them for feedback. It is not uncommon for a child to fall and then look to the parent for their facial and physical response before deciding what to do next.

For these reasons, any treatment programme must involve the parents and other significant people (e.g./ grandparent, teachers).

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Schmerz. 2012 Aug;26(4):389-95.

Please don’t hurt me!: a plea against invasive procedures in children and adolescents with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

[Article in German]

Zernikow B, Dobe M, Hirschfeld G, Blankenburg M, Reuther M, Maier C.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS; formerly known as Morbus Sudeck/reflex dystrophy) is diagnosed in children and adolescents, but the clinical presentation is often atypical. Unfortunately, potentially harmful, invasive treatments are used in pediatric patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A retrospective chart study of pediatric chronic pain patients with CRPS was performed.

RESULTS:

Over the course of 6 years, 37 (35 girls) children and adolescents took part in a multidisciplinary chronic pain inpatient program. At admission, patients took on average 4.4 (range 1-10) different medications and 29 different pharmaceuticals were used overall. Prior to admission, invasive pain treatments were performed without success in 16 of the children (43%). At least 13 children received two or more invasive treatments. Although sympathetic blocks were most prevalent, operations and regional anesthesia were also used.

CONCLUSION:

Despite a lack of evidence for invasive procedures, these continue to be used in children and adolescents with CRPS, who later respond positively to conventional treatment. The English full-text version of this article is available at SpringerLink (under “Supplemental”)

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Acta Paediatr. 2008 Jul;97(7):875-9. Epub 2008 Apr 9.

Complex regional pain syndrome type I in children.

Tan EC, Zijlstra B, Essink ML, Goris RJ, Severijnen RS.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome type I (CRPS I) is a potentially incapacitating syndrome which can occur after a minor injury or operation to a limb. It is a disorder characterized by pain, sensory and motor disturbances. CRPS I is well known in adults, but a relatively new diagnostic entity in children. The clinical presentation of CRPS I in children is, to some extent, different from adults and therefore sometimes not recognized early. The aim of this study was to search for differences in patient characteristics between children and adults with CRPS I.

METHODS:

We have performed a retrospective chart review of 78 children (age </=16 year) with CRPS I and compared the data with those of 951 adults with CRPS I.

RESULTS:

The child population consisted predominantly of girls and older children (median age 13 years). The child population differed from adults in that the skin temperature of the involved extremity at onset was more often cooler, the lower extremity was involved more frequently and neurological and sympathetic symptoms were less pronounced.

CONCLUSIONS:

In several aspects, CRPS I in children has a different presentation than in adults

Click here

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Pain Med. 2010 Aug;11(8):1216-23.

Plasticity of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in children.

Stanton-Hicks M.

Source

Pain Management Department, Center for Neurological Restoration, Consulting Staff, Children’s Hospital CCF Shaker Campus, Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA. stantom@ccf.org

Abstract

Complex regional pain syndrome I (CRPS I) is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) criteria to include pain that is disproportionate to the inciting event, sensory disturbances such as allodynia/ hyperalgesia, autonomic dysfunction, and motor dysfunction that usually occurs after trauma that is frequently trivial and generally expressed in an extremity. These symptoms are well described in the adult population, but there are relatively few data or reports of its prevalence in the pediatric population. Recent studies have demonstrated that unlike the adult population, about 90% of the cases reported are females in a range of 8 to 16 years, the youngest being 3 years old. There tends to be delay in recognizing the diagnosis, which may be as long as 4 months. In contrast to adults, the response to treatment, particularly exercise therapy with behavioral management will achieve almost 97% remission. While the pathophysiology is poorly understood, many features, particularly the neurologic abnormalities, suggest both peripheral and central nervous system involvement. Peripheral small fiber neuropathy as an etiology and inflammation involving small nerve fibers (neurogenic inflammatory pain) has been suggested. A tissue inflammatory etiology has been investigated over the past 25 years. However, these inflammatory aspects differ from those seen in other conditions involving tissue inflammation. The suggestion that CRPS in children is a different clinical entity than that seen in the adult, is probably incorrect, as recent evidence would suggest that the pathophysiology is most likely identical involving endocrine, behavioral, developmental, and environmental factors that distinguish clinical presentation in children from the adult. Behavioral management is a mandatory accompaniment of any program of exercise therapy and the sometimes extreme sensory disturbances and parental enmeshment do distinguish the clinical presentation from that in the adult. Interventional procedures may be required in the face of extreme allodynia preventing exercise therapy, and in occasional cases interruption of the sympathetic nerves may reverse this symptom in a few children. Occasionally, continuous analgesia techniques such as that which can be delivered by tunneled epidural catheter or an externalized neurostimulator (spinal cord stimulation) for short periods of time are effective.

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J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2012 Mar-Apr;102(2):99-104.

Complex regional pain syndrome of the pediatric lower extremity: a retrospective review.

Harris EJ, Schimka KE, Carlson RM.

Source

Section of Podiatry, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type 1 is a disorder of the extremities characterized by pain, edema, limited range of motion, integument changes, and vasomotor instability often after an inciting event. In the pediatric population, CRPS may be misdiagnosed, or missed entirely, as CRPS literature for this patient population is lacking.

METHODS:

Twenty-seven pediatric patient medical records with the diagnosis of CRPS type 1 from the institutional and private practices of the principal investigator (E.J.H.) were reviewed for demographics, inciting event, lower-extremity clinical examination, ancillary testing, previous treatments, time to diagnosis, treatment after diagnosis, and time to resolution of symptoms.

RESULTS:

Females composed 85.2% of the patient population (n = 23) (mean age of females, 11.11 years). An inciting event preceded pain in 74.1% of patients (n = 20). On physical examination, more than 50% of patients were identified as having changes in skin color and temperature, edema to the affected lower extremity, painful or decreased range of motion in affected joints, and intact lower-extremity motor function. The average time to resolution of symptoms was 6.8 weeks for the entire population.

CONCLUSIONS:

Diagnosis of CRPS type 1 should be considered in a preadolescent female complaining of pain out of proportion after an inciting event with a physical examination demonstrating change in skin color, decrease in skin temperature, edema, and painful or diminished range of motion in affected joints. Prompt diagnosis can decrease the time to resolution of symptoms.

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Mayo Clin Proc. 2010 Mar;85(3 Suppl):S33-41.

Neuropathic pain in children: Special considerations.

Walco GA, Dworkin RH, Krane EJ, LeBel AA, Treede RD.

Source

Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, Seattle Children’s Hospital, WA 98105, USA. gawalco@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Neuropathic pain is relatively uncommon in children. Although some syndromes closely resemble those found in adults, the incidence and course of the condition can vary substantially in children, depending on developmental status and contextual factors. There are some neuropathic pain syndromes that are rare and relatively unique to the pediatric population. This article discusses the array of neuropathic pain conditions in children and available treatment strategies. Data are limited by small numbers and few randomized controlled trials. Research and clinical implications are discussed.

Full article here

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