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How does complex regional pain syndrome progress?

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This condition is when something, such as a sprain or a fracture, triggers pain or other problems for no clear reason. The main signs of complex regional pain syndrome is intense pain that affects you all the time.

The condition usually goes through three stages:

  • Up to three months: You feel burning pain, and the affected area is more sensitive to touch. Those are the most common early symptoms. Swelling and joint stiffness usually start next.
  • Three months to a year: Swelling is more lasting, and wrinkles in the skin go away. Pain spreads, and joints get stiffer.
  • A year or more: Skin becomes pale, stretched, and shiny. Pain may lessen. Stiffness may mean that the affected limb won't ever move as well as it used to.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome."

Mayo Clinic: "Complex regional pain syndrome."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Fact Sheet."

OrthoInfo: "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)."

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association: "Telltale Signs and Symptoms of CRPS/RSD,"

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on May 27, 2019

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome."

Mayo Clinic: "Complex regional pain syndrome."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Fact Sheet."

OrthoInfo: "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)."

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association: "Telltale Signs and Symptoms of CRPS/RSD,"

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on May 27, 2019

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What are severe symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome?

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