A Natural Approach to Health
Living With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
I had a question the other day about complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS.
Complex regional pain syndrome is a term used to describe a group of painful conditions.
Examples of earlier names for these conditions include reflex sympathetic dystrophy, causalgia, and Sudeck’s atrophy.
Pain is the main symptom of CRPS.
Most people have severe pain in an arm or a leg.
Usually the pain is in a part of your body where you had surgery or an injury.
The pain is usually constant and either shooting, sharp, or burning.
The pain is much worse and it lasts much longer than you would expect for the kind of injury you had.
Women in their mid-30s are more likely to get CRPS, but it can happen to anyone at any age.
The cause of CRPS isn’t well understood.
The pain happens in the limb and in the brain.
The nerves and skin in the arm or leg are affected and so are the nerves in the brain.
CRPS, and the pain and disability that comes with it, is very real.
It isn’t “in your mind.”
The pain usually starts after a limb or joint has had a serious injury, like a broken bone, gunshot wound, or deep wound.
The injury might also be caused by an accident, a fall, or surgery.
It can even be caused by a minor injury like a sprain.
In about 1 out of 10 people, CRPS starts without an apparent reason.
Symptoms of CRPS are usually only in one arm or leg and include:
>Pain that’s much more severe and lasts much longer than what you would expect for the kind of injury you have.
>Skin that may be blotchy or shiny.
>Skin that may feel hotter or colder than other areas of your body.
>Swelling, joint stiffness, weakness, or shaking in the painful arm or leg.
>Sweating, numbness, or tingling in the painful arm or leg.
You may feel as though the painful arm or leg doesn’t belong to your body.
Like other conditions that cause chronic pain, CRPS can also cause sleeping problems, anxiety, mood swings, sadness, and depression.
There’s no one test to diagnose CRPS.
CRPS will usually get better, either by itself or with treatment.
More than 8 out of 10 people who have CRPS feel better, or are completely better, in 18 months.
Treatment for CRPS is divided into four areas:
>Physical rehabilitation (rehab)
>Counseling or psychotherapy
>Patient education and self-management
To deal with complex regional pain syndrome it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 5-8 cups of purified water daily.
*Stay at a healthy weight.
*Exercise, keep moving; get some sunshine.
*Eat more foods high in vitamins, magnesium, and calcium
*Breathe deeply to oxygenate your cells.
*Increase EFAs (essential fatty acids) with Omega 3, flaxseed oil, olive oil, etc., because these help lubricate and decrease inflammation
*Increase B-complex, Lecithin, Cal/Mag, and VitalMag because these support nerve function.
*Consider chiropractic care.
*Consume fresh (not canned) pineapple and/or papaya as they contain enzymes that help reduce inflammation.
*Explore the use of Arnica (homeopathic remedy).
*Decrease or eliminate acid0forming foods/drinks (coffee, soda pop, dairy, red meat, sugar, processed foods, white flour products).
*Decrease or eliminate exposure to toxic materials and/or cleaning products (at work, home, school) as they can trigger or aggravate the condition.
*Avoid MSG and artificial sweeteners as they are neurotoxins.