There has been a lot of talk lately about chronic pain and the new rules the FDA is recommending on prescription drug usage. But what’s not in the news is a chronic pain condition known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). It causes debilitating pain, affecting the arms, legs, hands or feet and usually occurs after an injury or another type of trauma.
For some patients, the condition is so bad patients are not able to walk for longer than 10 minutes at a time as their legs start to shake uncontrollably. Although difficult to diagnose, doctors know that CRPS affects the nervous system as it sends constant pain signals to the brain. Patients describe their pain score at 42 out of 50, based on the McGill Pain Index that doctors use to measure their pain levels. This score is much higher than the kind of pain patients experience for childbirth and amputation.