CRPS Treatment Options: Have You Tried Any of These?
What We Know
The first and most common treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, upon diagnosis is usually physical therapy. This is usually prescribed by a specialized doctor, working with a team of other doctors and specialists including pain management to manage your CRPS.
Physical therapy is imminent as it maintains the blood circulation of the affected limb which allows the limb to function, and prevent muscle atrophy and waste.
Physical therapy methods – Mirror Therapy – Commonly used method, most physical therapists implement into CRPS plans to “trick” the brain into mirroring the healthy limb.
Physical instruments – A number of physical instruments can be used such as exercise bands to stretch, and rotate the affected limb. Strength training can also be implemented and water- chamber therapy.
Touch therapy is another method where a physical item is used to desensitize the affected limb.
Ten’s Machine – Ten’s machines are also another physical, battery charged, mobile unit used to reduce pain for CRPS. It is usually stuck to the affected area, and electrical waves or currents are sent to those nerves to block the pain. We personally didn’t have any success with this method, but I have heard of some success stories with that. Some physical therapist will also combine this in their treatment plans. Many of the physical therapists also send you home with “homework” with exercises to complete at home.
It was pretty challenging to do physical therapy initially as, the pain was too strong to bear to even go outside or complete a treatment. This was one of our first and major obstacles as mobility was limited and allodynia was pretty severe with touch, texture, and weather. At one point I had to cancel appointments until I could get something figured out.
Once we were able to get the allodynia under control, and to subside we were able to move forward with committing to physical therapy sessions.
Now back to physical therapy on healthier terms, a lot of strength training was brought in to build muscle on the affected limb which in our case was the foot. The goal was to build muscle, and functionality. The goals were set for walking, running, and other checkpoints that the physical therapist has to refer to in comparison to the healthier leg and state prior to CRPS.
I have done my own diligence and there are medications that some patients with similar predicaments have had success with such as;
Amitriptyline HCL 75mg,
Menantine HCL 100mg.
Hemp Pain Relief Cream
Country Connections - Muscle Mist
EMLA Anasthetic Cream (Lidocaine & Prilocaine)
While scouring the web, I am grateful to have found Melissa Wardlaw’s blog entry about coping with CRPS. Melissa Wardlaw is a CRPS survivor and advocate. We personally have tried the Country Connections Muscle Mist. Out of all the topical options, that is our preference choice for topical care. It truly provides lasting relief. This was one of our staple must have items when managing CRPS daily. I have included a link to the one we purchased below. This is the article from which we found Muscle Mist, here.
Over The Counter (OTC) Pain killers:
Vitamin C –
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Lateral Orientate Therapy
White Willow Bark
NAC – Nacetylcysteine
Invasive Unconventional Treatments:
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Anesthetics – Injected into the affected limb to numb the pain
Sympathetic Ganglion Block – Injected to target the nerves that are misfiring
A spinal cord stimulator – Electric current sent to the affected nerves by a stimulator that is implanted in the spinal cord and masks the pain.
Biofeedback – L- Tetrahydropalmatine
Nerve blocks -
Active Release Therapy
New treatments available such as;
Ketamine Infusion – Ketamine Infusion is considered an experimental option. It is also invasive as it entails injecting an anesthetic block blocking glutamate receptors. This can take several days. It is available in limited locations throughout the country as well as internationally. It is not covered by insurance. Under a completed trial, some clients have remained pain-free up to six months after their treatment. The cost can range from $400- $1200 per treatment. It is not mentioned how many treatments lead up to remission in the trial, I received information from.
Side-effects include; Hallucination, delirium, changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.
The Latest Treatments To Date 2023
Closed Loop Deep-Brain Stimulation for Refractory Chronic Pain
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation For Chronic Neuropathic Pain
Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation
All three of these are currently being conducted as clinical trials, of the three, only two are available for participants.
Stem cells – a regenerative medicinal approach in which stem cells can replace, restore, repair and regenerate tissues is being studied as a possibility for CRPS. – Sound familiar? Odoyo Premier does the same thing, only with nutrition!
Platelet Lysate Injection – Can be administered by a family doctor, so may be an accessible option if or when confirmed.
A new drug called Anakinra – Still under investigation
Last resort – These options are reserved for severe cases of CRPS.
Surgery – Cutting the affected nerves, thus preventing pain impulses from reaching the brain.
There are a lot of options and we did not try all of these. Most of these have not been officially approved and are under clinical trials. I encourage you all to do your research as I am not directly affiliated, or endorsing anything here unless stated and we have personally tried it. I have just provided a comprehensive list, of what is available and encourage you all to consult with your physicians prior to trying anything.
Thankfully we did not have to, as our self-created regimen has successfully allowed us to maintain remission status. What we did try is linked below, in a complete package, with a consultation guide including every ingredient, step and protocol of when and how we took this specially concentrated concoction for success. Find it here.
What have you tried, and what has worked for you?
Please comment and share what you are currently doing. If you are not doing anything, what are you willing to do, or why not?
Arizonapain. (2022, March 22). 5 new treatments for CRPS pain and symptom management. Arizona Pain. https://arizonapain.com/new-treatments-for-crps/
Goettsche Partners. (2011). GP. Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YBTGDW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
RSD/CRPS - dr. Hanna, best CRPS doctor in the world. Dr. Hanna CRPS Pain Doctor Tampa Clearwater. (n.d.). http://www.nopainhanna.com/rsd_crps/
My top 5 strategies for dealing with a CRPS flare. My Top 5 Strategies For Dealing With A CRPS Flare – RSDSA. (2018, April 17). https://rsds.org/top-5-strategies-dealing-crps-flare/
Stem cells could relieve crps pain and inflammation. (n.d.). https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/news/stem-cells-could-relieve-crps-pain-and-inflammation
Shirvalkar, P., & Motzkin, J. C. (2023, May 24). UCSF Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Clinical Trials - San Francisco Bay Area. UCSF Clinical Trials. https://clinicaltrials.ucsf.edu/complex-regional-pain-syndrome
The chronic pain of CRPS is more than a feeling. Brain and Life Magazine - Trusted by Neurologists. (n.d.). https://www.brainandlife.org/articles/more-than-a-feeling
Treatments – RSDSA. (n.d.). https://rsds.org/research/treatments/
Wardlaw, M. (2022, October 9). 5 strategies I rely on during my pain flares. The Mighty. https://themighty.com/topic/complex-regional-pain-syndrome/list-top-strategies-for-dealing-with-a-crps-rsd-flare/