Learning About Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
If you suffer from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), no explanation is needed as an introduction to this debilitating condition. But for many of those who have just recently been diagnosed, and those who are hearing about it for the first time, complex regional pain syndrome may be a mystery. NSI Stem Cell Centers in Florida aims to remove the mystery and bring greater awareness about this chronic disease to the general public.
NSI Stem Cell Centers specialize in FDA guidelines-compliant regenerative medical techniques such as stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments. The same regenerative therapies NSI already successfully applies to a growing list of illnesses, disorders, and chronic conditions – both physical (like diabetes) and neurological (like multiple sclerosis) – are now being focused on treating patients with CRPS.
What Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
CPRPS is also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). Most commonly, it affects a single limb, either an arm or a leg, or one hand or foot. Onset of CPRPS generally occurs after someone has sustained injury or trauma to the affected area. A primary symptom of complex regional pain syndrome is pain far more severe than the original injury or trauma should have created. Other symptoms include fluctuations in skin coloring and body temperature, and may also be accompanied by swelling within the injured or traumatized region. These changes can shift from mildly apparent to dramatically on the rise.
While the root cause of complex regional pain syndrome remains elusive, it is strongly thought to be the result of damages to, or the malfunctioning of, the peripheral and central nervous systems.
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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome & The Nervous Systems
The body’s two nervous systems are comprised of the spinal cord (peripheral) and the brain (central). The spinal cord nerve network acts as a kind of highway, transporting the signals from the brain to the rest of the body. It also sends information about the body back to the brain. Both the central and peripheral nervous systems play a fundamental role in complex regional pain syndrome.
The Types Of CRPS
There are two types of CRPS – Type 1 and Type 2.
CRPS-1 is the more elusive of the two types. It arises even though nerve injuries, in most cases, cannot be located and established.
CRPS-2, once referred to as Causalgia, is the type in which injury to a nerve, or nerves, can be located.
Symptoms of both types of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) fluctuate in severity level and length of time. While some sufferers of CRPS may experience milder symptoms that fade gradually, many people who must live with CRPS do not experience recovery and are forced to live with long term, debilitating pain.
How Regenerative Medicine Treats CRPS/RSD
Prior to the advancements of regenerative medicine, the only hope for some level of relief for complex regional pain syndrome relied on physical therapy, medications (either oral or injectable), and – as a last resort – surgery, in some cases, as radical as amputation.
However, regenerative techniques like stem cell therapy are revolutionizing how the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome is approached. Over the past several decades stem cell therapies have advanced exponentially, ushering in safe, effective, and fully ethical methods that have changed the face of a growing list of disease treatments. Today, diseases, injuries, and chronic disorders as varied as COPD, joint injury, arthritis, heart conditions, and multiple sclerosis are being treated through stem cell therapy.
As an FDA guidelines-compliant medical clinic, NSI Stem Cell Centers use only stem cells derived from the patient to be treated. Stem cells are omnipotent packets of potential that circulate throughout the body and await chemical signaling to become whatever type of cell is needed for repair, regeneration, replication, or replacement. Regardless of the kind of cell … skin, bone, organ, blood, nerve, neuron, muscle, or cartilage…stem cells become whatever is needed. Stem cells not only restore tissue, muscles and brain matter; they also combat inflammation and disease.
The stem cell harvesting technique at NSI is minimally invasive and done on an outpatient basis. The body has an abundant store of stem cells that is suspended in the fatty layer that lies just below the skin. These are called adipose stem cells, and they are not only plentiful and easily accessed, they are a particularly potent type of stem cell.
A small sample is all that is needed for a treatment. This sample is generally harvested from the patient’s thigh, hip, buttock, or abdomen using a local anesthetic. From start to finish, a treatment is done in a matter of hours. There is no risk of the body rejecting the treatment since the stem cells are the patient’s own. And there is no post-procedure recovery time required.
Who Are The Most Likely Candidates To Get Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome can affect all ages, genders and races. However, it is more commonly found in women and, on average, arises in people of approximately forty years of age. People in their senior years rarely exhibit CRPS/RDS, and children five years old and under don’t suffer from it. Though it can appear in children after the age of five, it is exceptionally unusual to see it before a child reaches ten years old. However, complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy does appear in teens. If you have a history of any of the following symptoms call our office today for a free consult:
A More Detailed Look At CRPS/RDS Symptoms
Protracted pain is primary among the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy. For many, the pain is severe enough to create disability. It can be experienced in a number of ways – as a sharp, painful prickling like being stabbed with needles, as an intense, fiery, burning, or a debilitating, intense, pressure as though an arm or leg is squeezed in a vice-like grip.
The painful sensation frequently spreads throughout the limb. This is often true even if the original injury or trauma was strictly limited to one of the toes or fingers. In some cases, the pain travels into the opposing leg or arm. Allodynia, which is an extreme and often painful sensitivity to even the lightest of touches by a person or by brushing against an object, can also be present.
Complex regional pain syndrome can also present as irregular circulation if nerves associated with blood flow and the regulation of body temperature have been damaged. This results not only in fluctuations of body temperature, but can also cause:
- Mottling in skin tone
- Changes in skin texture
- Paleness, reddening, bluish or purplish color in the affected limb.
- Extensive swelling in the affected limb.
Examples of other symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome include:
- Atypical sweating within the affected area of CRPS/RDS
- A change in the pattern of hair, finger, or toe nail growth
- Joint stiffness in the area related to complex regional pain syndrome
- Poor coordination of, or irregular, muscular movements and/or limited capacity in moving the limb(s) affected by CRPS
Seeking The Cause Of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Presently, the exact reason why CRPS develops is unknown, though over 90% of all complex regional pain syndrome occurrences show clear connections to injuries or traumas. These can include a variety of injuries, both serious and apparently minor, like a fracture, sprain or strain, a burn, cut, or bruise. They can also include a prolonged restricted movement of a limb, such as when confined to a cast. Even a medical procedure, sometimes as seemingly minor as being stuck by a needle, can be linked to CRPS.
The point is that complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy is an atypical response from the body, magnifying the effect of injuries or traumas. In some ways, it can be thought of in the same light as allergies: one person’s body might react in the extreme to a triggering event, while that same event will have no abnormal effect on another.
When the injury or trauma involves the peripheral nervous system, complex regional pain syndrome generally involves smaller un-myelinated and thinly myelinated nerve fibers. Myelination is a natural process of the nervous system. Myelin sheath forms around certain types of nerves, though other types of nerves don’t have this sheath. The myelin sheath allows quicker, more efficient travel of nerve impulses, such as the messaging of pain and signaling blood vessels.
When injuries occur to minute peripheral nervous system fibers that are involved in communicating with blood vessels, injury might bring on symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome. Molecular secretions at the end of an agitated, wounded nerve fiber are believed to add to the effects of irritation and any abnormality that has occurred to affected blood vessels. This, in turn, triggers abnormalities in neurological functioning within the spinal cord and, ultimately, the brain. This can lead to multifaceted disorders of the brain’s cortex.
Besides chronic or extreme nerve pain, CRPS can also cause blood vessel dilation as well as the leaking of blood fluids into tissues that surround the vessels. This causes the skin to redden and swell. It also risks oxygen and nutrient starvation to muscle and deep tissue, triggering pain and injury to joints.
In other cases, complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy causes the opposite effect. Blood vessels can become constricted, yet another way to cause oxygen and nutrient starvation to the surrounding tissue. The skin can become icy and take on a whitened or blue cast. At the core of these conditions is the damage done to the small fibers with the nerves of the nervous system.
Complex regional pain syndrome can affect the body’s immune system as well. Within the tissue of CRPS sufferers are found extreme amounts of a cytokines which are chemical inflammatories. Cytokines are contributing factors to the red, swollen, heated effects experienced by numerous people diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome. Indeed, CRPS/RSD occurs more commonly among people who already suffer from diseases and disorders that involve inflammatory or autoimmune symptoms – like asthmatics or those with Lupus.
Though limited, there is some suggestion in data that an inclination toward complex regional pain syndrome may be hereditary. While it is a rarity, nevertheless, there are reports of family clusters that exhibit complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
On occasion, complex regional pain syndrome may develop even though no injuries appear evident. However, it is possible that in these cases the injuries may be internal. Infections, vascular problems, or nerve compression syndrome (also known as compression neuropathy) may be causes of CRPS/RSD.
In any case, thorough and thoughtful examinations are required for determining CRPS causes. It’s not uncommon for there to be more than one source for complex regional pain syndrome, working together toward the production of the disease.
For all of these reasons and more, stem cell therapy is emerging as the most advanced and effective treatment for CRPS/RSD.
Diagnosing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Diagnosing complex regional pain syndrome is thoughtful and rigorous, as CRPS/RSD shares many markers common to other diseases. In addition to diagnosing CRPS, testing also rules out a host of similar conditions like Lyme disease, types of arthritis, muscular disorders, vein clots, or neuropathy. While all of these conditions are also highly treatable through stem cell therapy, a sound diagnosis of CRPS helps tailor stem cell treatments to the patient’s best possible advantage.
Prognosis For Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Treatment Through Stem Cell Therapy
The treating of complex regional pain syndrome through stem cell therapy is one of the great advancements of the regenerative medicine field. Stem cell therapy is changing the face of modern medicine, not just regarding CRPS/RSD, but for an ever-growing list of injuries, diseases and disorders, whether physical or neurological. Today’s stem cell therapies at NSI Stem Cell Centers have developed exponentially as safe, effective, and fully ethical techniques for treating an extensive array of conditions. Stem cell therapy for complex regional pain syndrome is a natural extension of these developments.
NSI Stem Cell Centers are FDA guidelines-compliant medical clinics that treat patients exclusively with their own stem cells. These stem cells become the types of cells the body needs in repairing, regenerating, replicating or replacing. In the case of complex regional pain syndrome/ reflex sympathetic dystrophy the stem cells target the rebuilding of myelin sheaths, repair damage to tissue and reduce inflammation, among other therapeutic functions.
What Ongoing Studies Tell Us About Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke) is an arm of the National Institutes of Health. Since complex regional pain syndrome affects the peripheral and central nervous systems, CRPS/RSD is one of their interests.
Their studies have taught the medical community in general, and the regenerative medical field in particular, that the inflammatory response associated with complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy is enabled by the CRPS sufferer’s own immune responses. This knowledge is a boon to regenerative medical treatments since methods such as stem cell therapy can directly address diseases that affect the immune system.
For example: injury to an arm or leg such as bone fractures that are then set in a cast can commonly cause complex regional pain syndrome. For some people, the inflammatory response to injuries and traumas such as these that are immobilized for extended periods of time becomes exaggerated in CRPS cases. Stem cell medicine is uniquely suited to treat not just physical injury and illness, but autoimmune and neurological conditions like complex regional pain syndrome.
Of course, as we have already learned, long term immobilization of an injury is not the sole reason people suffer from CRPS/RSD. But, regardless of the event that triggers complex regional pain syndrome, stem cell therapy has the power to relieve, regenerate, and repair at the cellular level.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Treatment At NSI Stem Cell Centers
Adipose stem cell therapy for treatment of chronic conditions like complex regional pain syndrome is the focus of NSI Stem Cell Centers. Because regenerative medicine is our sole practice, our experience is second to none. With our FDA guidelines-compliant therapies, there is no need to leave the United States in search of these safe, effective, and advanced procedures.
NSI Stem Cell has many adipose stem cell therapy options in practice and available to the public right now. Our medical staff is happy to answer any questions. We also have FREE brochure available with information on all our stem cell therapies. Call (877) 278-3628 or use our Contact Us Page.