CRPS Treatment in San Antonio

The prevalence of CRPS may be increasing

Chronic pain afflicts many in various ways. For treatment and diagnostic purposes, specialists classify pain conditions by their onset or region of effect. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) causes unexplained pain in the extremities, i.e., the arms or legs. The pain tends to be debilitating.

It is difficult to determine how many people suffer from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) because the condition is often underdiagnosed and underreported. Some estimates suggest that CRPS affects between 1 and 2 percent of the population, but the true prevalence of the condition is likely higher. CRPS is more common in women than men, and it typically affects people between the ages of 20 and 50.

What is CRPS?

CRPS is a disorder that causes chronic, disproportionate pain in the arms or legs. Usually, CRPS only shows up on one side of the body, but in some cases, the pain may travel or spread to a different limb or the other side of the body.

Researchers are still investigating what causes CRPS, but it often occurs after sustaining an injury or undergoing surgery. A heart attack or stroke may also trigger CRPS. The following pain is much more intense than the initial injury.

Although pain is one of the defining characteristics of CRPS, other symptoms may show up in the affected extremity, including:

  • Skin color or texture change
  • Temperature changes
    Swelling or stiffness
  • Problems with coordination
  • Pins and needles feeling
  • Tremors or shakes
  • Noticeable changes in hair or nail growth

Sometimes the disorder subsides without treatment. But it can also last years.

Treatment options for managing your pain include medications, nerve blocks, and physical therapy. Often, though, these methods are just not enough. Ketamine therapy is another option if nothing else has worked to manage your pain.


How can ketamine help?

Over the past 20 years, ketamine has demonstrated powerful antidepressant effects and benefits for other mental health chronic pain conditions, like CRPS. Initially an effective sedative on the battlefield with a wide safety margin, ketamine is an invaluable treatment for various physical and mental issues, known for its transformative power and speedy results.

Recent evidence points to ketamine’s inhibitory effects on the NMDA receptor in the lateral habenula. The lateral habenula is a brain region primarily responsible for encoding negative rewards or anti-reward cause-and-effect relationships. Those with depression and anxiety show an overactivity of burst firing in the lateral habenula. As a non-competitive NMDA antagonist, ketamine prevents glutamate from activating the NMDA receptor.

The inhibition of the NMDA receptor may cause a build-up of free glutamate, which then activates the AMPA receptors. When surplus glutamate activates the AMPA receptor, it releases a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) chemical. BDNF, in interaction with mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), promotes new neural growth. This new growth may reroute the brain from hyperactive areas associated with negative reward signals, thereby providing long-term relief from CRPS.

Getting Treatment

The condition can significantly impact your quality of life and interfere with your ability to work, sleep, and engage in activities you enjoy.

In addition to these emotional and social effects, CRPS can also have serious physical consequences. The intense pain of CRPS can cause changes in the nervous system that make the pain worse over time, and it can also lead to muscle weakness, stiffness, and decreased mobility. These physical changes can make it more difficult to perform everyday tasks and increase your risk of falls and other accidents.

Treatment for CRPS can help to improve your symptoms and reduce the impact of pain on your life. If you or a loved one suffers from CRPS, Kairos can help. Now is the time! Contact us today

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