Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) refers to a condition that includes pain, allodynia (pain in response to previously unpainful stimuli) or hyperalgesia (severe pain in response to relatively mild pain stimuli), and localized temperature and skin changes that are disproportionate to the inciting event or nerve injury.
This disorder was formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy and causalgia. The main distinction between CRPS 1 and 2 is that definite peripheral nerve injury is present in the latter.
Early recognition and treatment are the most important elements in the successful alleviation of CRPS: Sympathetic blocks are administered early in the course of the syndrome, with a goal of pain reduction and functional restoration.
Pharmacological agents that are frequently added to physical rehabilitation include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsant medications (both of which are used to reduce pain and improve sleep), narcotics, corticosteroids, topical capsaicin, and local anesthetic blockades of sympathetic ganglia.