Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)/RSD is a disorder where the pain response is far out of proportion to the actual injury or inciting incident. It can happen after actual physical injury to a body part, but can also occur after stroke, surgery or a heart attack. The body can be warm, dry and comfortable, and the body part affected by this can be ice cold, clammy, white, swollen and off the charts painful for no particular reason.
This is a syndrome that is difficult to treat, and which requires a seasoned, aggressive PT who has treated this before for optimal results. We have PTs who have addressed this in multiple patients of varying ages with a great deal of success. This requires a special approach, time, and the cooperation of the entire family of the patient to work fully. It is treatable, especially when caught early. In later stages, the PT, in a coordinated effort with the patient’s physicians, can help the patient get on with their lives, working around remaining symptoms.