14 treatments for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Source: Mayo Clinic

1. Painkillers

Over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen, help decrease inflammation and pain. Stronger pain medications must be prescribed by a healthcare provider.

2. Anticonvulsants and Antidepressants

These are often used to treat pain that occurs due to a damaged nerve.

3. Corticosteroids

Steroid medications reduce inflammation which helps to increase mobility of the affected limb(s).

4. Intravenous Ketamine

Intravenous ketamine is a potent anesthetic. When used in low doses, it helps alleviate pain; however, it does not improve the function of the affected limb(s).

5. Sympathetic Nerve Block

Sympathetic nerve block is when local anesthetic is injected in area the CRPS affected nerves. It blocks the nerve pain and provide pain relief.

6. Bone-Loss Medication

These prescription medications help to impede bone loss.

7. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy proves very effective in reducing pain and increasing strength and range of motion. Optimal results are achieved if CRPS is diagnosed in the early stages.

8. Mirror Therapy

Using a mirror or mirror box tricks the brain. As the body moves the healthy limb in a mirror, the brain perceives it as the limb that is affected by CRPS. The brain then perceives the limb as healthy which results in reduced pain and increased mobility.

9. Biofeedback

Biofeedback techniques teach relaxation which aids in pain relief.

10. Heat Therapy

Heat applied to the affected area offers relief from swelling and pain.

11. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

This treatment uses electrical impulses to relieve chronic pain.

12. Topical Analgesics

Over-the-counter capsaicin cream or lidocaine cream (or patches) reduce hypersensitivity.

13. Intrathecal Drug Pump

Pain medications pumped into the nerves of the spinal cord relieve pain.

14. Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal cord stimulators relieve pain by delivering small electrical currents to the nerves in the spinal cord.

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