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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

SamWell Institute for Pain Management

Pain Management Specialist located in Colonia, NJ, Livingston, NJ & Englewood, NJ

If you suffer from chronic pain, you know just how debilitating it can be. Complex regional pain syndrome negatively affects many Americans; however, help is available. Dr. Jay M. Shah at the SamWell Institute for Pain Management in Colonia, Livingston, and Englewood, New Jersey, is experienced at helping their patients manage their symptoms and get back to the activities that they love. Call either office location or use the online booking tool to request an appointment today.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q & A

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)  is a debilitating and painful condition where a high level of nerve impulses are sent to a particular site in your body. These impulses cause a wide range of difficult symptoms and can make life quite challenging for the patient. While there is no cure, it is important to seek proper medical care to explore available treatments.


What causes complex regional pain syndrome?

While scientists do not yet fully understand complex regional pain syndrome, it is known that different factors can cause it. Following injury, it can be caused by an abnormal triggering of the immune response. At other times, it may be caused by irregular pain receptor functioning.


What are the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?

Because complex regional pain syndrome can affect many parts of the body, symptoms can vary widely in location, severity, and duration. Most patients complain of continuous and intense pain that worsens with time. Other symptoms may include:

  • Swollen joints
  • Stiff joints
  • Redness
  • Burning pain
  • Decreased motor ability
  • Changes to skin
  • Changes to nail and hair growth


Getting proper medical care is key to finding the right treatment plan. Dr. Shah and his team take ample time to fully understand your condition and develop a personalized plan of care that fits your needs.


What is RSD?

RSD, or reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is a common form of complex regional pain syndrome. It is characterized by lasting pain, usually following a stroke or heart attack, and can manifest as burning, aching, or throbbing sensations. In addition, RSD can occur as a result of many other forms of injury, such as:


  • Amputation
  • Bruising
  • Fractures
  • Surgery
  • Sprains
  • Cuts


While the cause is unknown, it is thought to involve abnormalities in your sympathetic nervous system. Fortunately, effective numerous treatment options are within reach at SamWell Institute for Pain Management.

How does my provider diagnose CRPS?

To find the cause of complex regional pain syndrome and develop a treatment plan, Dr. Shah reviews your symptoms and asks about your medical history. He completes a physical examination and might recommend a bone scan, sweat production tests, MRI, X-ray, or other imaging procedure.

What are my CRPS treatment options?

Treatment for complex regional pain syndrome focuses on alleviating painful symptoms associated with the disorder and may include:

Physical therapy

During physical therapy, Dr. Shah and his team show you exercises and stretches to reduce pain associated with CRPS.


Taking oral medications or using topical medicines can reduce CRPS discomfort and give you a better quality of life.

Spinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation uses a special device that Dr. Shah places beneath your skin to deliver electrical impulses to your spinal cord for pain relief.

Dorsal root ganglion stimulation

Dorsal root ganglion stimulation delivers electric currents to your ganglion — a cluster of nerve cells — to alter pain signals and reduce discomfort.

Intrathecal drug pumps

Dr. Shah can place an intrathecal drug pump under your skin during a minor surgical procedure to deliver medication into your spinal cord fluid and relieve CRPS pain.

Dr. Shah and his team provide compassionate and experienced treatment options, helping you find the pain relief that they need. Call or go online today to schedule an appointment with the experts at the SamWell Institute for Pain Management.

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