Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Symptoms & Observations:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Symptoms| Observations:


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is defined as a chronic debilitating pain, continuous beyond the healing of the wound, surgery, fracture, or abrasion and out of proportion of the injury. It is believed by industry experts to be linked to the nervous system.


CRPS I. – Also known as sympathetic dystrophy develops without any known damage to the nerve.

CRPS II – Also known as causalgia, which is the result of specific nerve damage


  • Electrical shock sensation
  • Burning nerve pain
  • A flare-up can be triggered by smoking tobacco
  • Sound sensitivity can abruptly develop which can be another source of pain
  • The skin can create a condition to which it feels as if there is no moisture, described as “dryness”. This also can bring pain when the skin becomes too dry.
  • Prolonged non-treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome can spread to other parts of the body, mimicking injury and pain in otherwise healthy, unaffected limbs
  • Hair loss can occur, change in growth pattern
  • The affected limb can grow more hair
  • The affected limb can become emaciated
  • Nails can grow groovy or into a claw form
  • Excess sweating
  • Itching, and crawling sensation
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch (also known as allodynia)
  • Can effect cognition (learning, memory, recalling, processing information)
  • Abnormal swelling/edema
  • Change in skin color (Deep red, pale in patches)
  • Change in skin temperature and texture (Mottled skin, Glossy and shiny skin)
  • Changes in skin, hair, and nail growth
  • Decreased mobility
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Hyperesthesia
  • Hyerpathy
  • Incoordination
  • Muscle and skin atrophy
  • Muscle spasms
  • Osteoporosis
  • Paraesthesias
  • Paresis
  • Pseudo paralysis
  • Sweating asymmetry
  • Tremor
  • Heat/cold intolerance
  • Bowel, bladder or digestive challenges

I have included a visual, credit to Burnings Nights.Org; to give a depiction of the pain-range CRPS can reach.

Be sure to comment below.


Division of Pain Medicine. (n.d.). Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Division of Pain Medicine.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, May 10). Complex regional pain syndrome. Mayo Clinic.

Photo courtesy of

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Complex regional pain syndrome. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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