Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a complicated medical condition that has a wide range of unpleasant effects on a patient. Among the most problematic symptoms of the condition is chronic pain. Chronic pain becomes a problem for a patient once it starts to prevent them from their everyday functioning and enjoying their lives. In order to deal with chronic pain from CRPS there is a list of different medical treatments that can be used to help alleviate the patient’s debilitating condition.
CRPS Chronic Pain
The reason chronic pain from CRPS affects patients so severely is because of the effects it has on the patient’s psychological functioning. When chronic pain is severe enough it not only affects a patient’s physical state but their mental state as well. Experts have noted through research that the brain is in a constant state of equilibrium. When an individual’s equilibrium is disturbed through chronic pain, the brain’s resources are re-routed to where they cannot maintain the awareness necessary for normal functioning. It is therefore necessary for medical intervention to alleviate this chronic pain to allow the patient to live as normal of a life as they possibly can.
CRPS Pain from Parasympathetic Nervous System
CRPS is said to primarily be a disorder of the nervous system’s signaling process. CRPS typically occurs after some kind of trauma or injury involving nerves or other soft tissues. The result of these injuries causes an inappropriate inflammatory effect and also solicits pain from central or peripheral nervous system stimulation that is in most cases innocuous. The result from this is chronic pain for the individual when they should be experience no pain or minimal pain.
Chronic pain from CRPS is a particularly difficult problem since the condition typically becomes more severe over time. This makes early medical treatment for the condition all the more important. CRPS is considered among the most painful conditions that a person can develop. CRPS chronic pain is considered even more painful and difficult to deal with than amputation and child birth.
Central Nervous System Origins of CRPS Chronic Pain
Inflammation and peripheral nervous system dysfunction are some of the theories to explain chronic pain from CRPS. There is another theory involving the way that the brain is configured to perceive pain. One of the more unusual therapies for treating CRPS chronic pain is ketamine infusion. This technique works by blocking the NMDA receptor which is specific to the neurotransmitter glutamate, among other substances.
Scientists have suggested that ketamine works to alleviate CRPS chronic pain by blocking the excessive glutamate that results from conditions of chronic pain. Glutamate is part of the stimulatory mechanism of the body. When a person experiences pain the central nervous system becomes overstimulated causing the person to emphasize their perception of pain. By blocking off this excess of glutamate, the patient’s brain can re-appropriate the brain’s resources towards more important functions.
CRPS Chronic Pain Treatments
There are various types of techniques for relieving the symptoms associated with CRPS. CRPS chronic pain is usually the primary focus when first treating the condition. Later, the physician will work to find the root cause of the condition in order to reverse it. Since this can be a long-term process, it is important to make the condition as manageable as possible for the patient. There is a wide array of choices for treating chronic pain from CRPS.
Most common CRPS chronic pain treatments:
• NMDA receptor blockers
These medical treatments work one of two ways for treating chronic pain from CRPS. They work to either directly suppress the pain signaling process in the nervous system or by reducing inflammation of the areas that are affected by CRPS chronic pain. In some cases, chronic pain treatment also helps to relieve the underlying cause of CRPS.
“Ketamine and CRPS.” American RSDHope. N.p., 01 Jan 2013. Web. 10 Aug 2013.
“RSD/Chronic Pain.” American RSDHope. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug 2013.