Complex Regional Pain Syndrome - New Zealand


Can CRPS/RSD spread?

Yes it is possible for CRPS/RSD to spread, it can mirror the injury, it can spread up the arm, if you were first diagnosed in the hand/wrist, and the same if the injury was in the foot, it can spread to the leg. CRPS/RSD can happen to almost any part of your body, and it can also spread to almost any part of your body as well.

What type of medications do you use for CRPS/RSD?

There are many types of medicines that can be trialed, and what may work for one person may not work for another. Your GP or Specialist will be able to discuss medication choices with you. Always make sure that you discuss with any new professionals what medication you are already taken. 

What treatments are available, especially in New Zealand?

There is no cure for CRPS at this stage, but we live in hope, Physiotherapy should be started as soon as possible, also if you have CRPS in your ankle/leg, aqua therapy can be a great form of exercise, the key is to keep the muscles and joints moving as this can delay the spreading of CRPS. You will hear the word 'PACE' a lot throughout your treatment, you will have to learn to pace yourself, so you do not overdo things, easier said than done. Medications are widely used, and it can take a while to find the right combination, but don't give up if the first lot of medications do not work. Meditation is also something that can help in learning to live with CRPS. The main focus is on relieving the symptoms and helping people with this syndrome live as normal a life as possible.

Why should I not use ice on my CRPS areas?

Patients should never use ice packs on the CRPS area, and it is important that people around you know this as well, so that is if you have an accident, the person with you is able to tell the hospital not to use ice packs. Using ice can cause severe nerve damage and the tissue that surrounds it, also it can speed up the progression of CRPS.

What happens if I require surgery in the future, is there things I need to do beforehand?

Yes there is things that can be done before surgery, speak with your pain specialist and make sure the hospital know in advance that you have CRPS.

 I seem to be having issues with my teeth, is that the CRPS?

Yes there is definetly a link with tooth decay, a lot of the medications will give you dry mouth, and the common problems are tooth decay, extreme hot and cold sensitivity and other dental issues. 

I seem to be sweating more, even when my body feels cold, and also the limb with CRPS can change colours from blue, to red to purple, is this normal for CRPS? 

Yes it is completely normal to have colour change, as well as sweating, it is also possible that some people will not sweat at all. It is not unusual for the symptoms to change either over the years. 

There are many scholarly articles that can be found on the internet, some of these I will be adding to my Facebook page, so don't forget to check out that page as well, link can be found on the home page.