Top Doctors For Diagnosing & Managing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Rather you have been formally diagnosed, or have a suspicion you may be experiencing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, be prepared to be your own advocate. Be diligent in your observations of your symptoms from when you have them, and what you’re doing and how your symptoms progress or decline over time. It’s important to be as detailed as possible about the symptoms, timing, and degree of the symptoms you are experiencing. Do not give up on getting the best, appropriate care and methods for managing your CRPS.
Due to CRPS being such a poorly understood, rare syndrome it may take awhile to become diagnosed, unfortunately.
According to RSDHope, a survey done concluded that patients see an average of five or more doctors before receiving a proper diagnosis.
According to a study published by Kim H and coauthors , the incidence of CRPS patients was 28 per 100,000 people per year. According to this study half of the patients were more than 50years old. The incidence in females was more than in males. Another study was conducted in the Netherlands by M de Mos and coauthors , according to which the incidence of CRPS patients was 26.2 per 100,000 people per year. Incidence in females was three times more than in males. According to these statistics, it is more common in females whose age is more than 50 years.
The symptoms can vary in nature, and are general enough to be mistaken for mental health issues, to other diseases. It takes time to find the right medical team, if one of the professionals assigned don’t recognize the symptoms right away. I have compiled a list of specialist, branches and departments of doctors who are the most likely to be exposed to and familiar with treating CRPS. Is your doctor on this list?
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 central nervous system.
We were diagnosed with CRPS one month after surgery. I believe that is so because, certain doctors are more exposed to it and can identify it more so than others who rarely come across it.
After researching the latest methods and techniques in diagnosing CRPS/RSD, Mayo Clinic’s latest article concludes there is no single definitive method to diagnose and determine a patient has CRPS. The patient’s medical history is reviewed; along with if the patient has had a recent surgery and current symptoms are assessed. Additional tests can be run to substantiate that such as bone scans, sweat production tests, x-rays, and MRIs. To learn more, click here.
Types of Doctor’s & Staff To Assist
The top medical professionals for diagnosing and managing CRPS are as follows:
Orthopedic – specializes in diseases and conditions of the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. (Examples of what they treat are; sports injuries, broken bones, and osteoporosis.)
Neurologist – treats the conditions of the nerves, spine and brain. (Examples of what they treat are; epilepsy and neuropathy.)
Pain Management – A pain management specialist is a medical doctor or doctor of Osteopathy who specializes in pain medicine. Pain management doctors have specialized training to evaluate, diagnose, treat and prevent many types of pain.
Types of Specialists
Physical Therapists – A healthcare professional trained to restore and improve functionality to an injured limb
Anesthesiologist – A doctor specializing in anesthesiology.
Departments To Look For
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Pain Medicine – Osteopathy
Bone & Joint
It is likely once diagnosed, you will work with a team who combines several doctors and specialist of different branches to manage and treat your CRPS. I also have a blog entry, with a directory for CRPS providers. You can check it out here.
How do you decide which doctor is best for you? Start with your general doctor, and provide them with a meticulous description of your symptoms, and experiences and ask for a referral. This will also likely be covered with insurance if it is referred from your doctor. Be sure to ask good questions, to vet and know how familiar the referral will be with CRPS to diagnose, and manage. You want a team who is not only knowledgeable, but also compassionate and as dedicated to your improvement as you are.
If I missed any doctors or specialists, please let me know and I’ll add to the list. Comment below to share your thoughts on this blog post. Thank you for tuning in.
Admin. (2022, April 27). What does a pain management physician do?: Novus spine & pain. Novus Spine & Pain Center. https://novusspinecenter.com/blog/pain-management/what-does-pain-management-physician-do
How to obtain the best medical care for CRPS. How to Obtain the Best Medical Care for CRPS – RSDSA. (2015, May 14). https://rsds.org/how-to-obtain-the-best-medical-care-for-crps/
Kim H, L. C. (2018). Epidemiology of complex regional pain syndrome in Korea: an
electronic population health data study. PLOS ONE
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, May 10). Complex regional pain syndrome. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crps-complex-regional-pain-syndrome/doctors-departments/ddc-20371157
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, May 10). Complex regional pain syndrome. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crps-complex-regional-pain-syndrome/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20371156
Medifind.com. (n.d.). https://www.medifind.com/conditions/complex-regional-pain-syndrome/5717/doctors
MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Types of doctors: Differences and what they do. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/types-of-doctors
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