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Pacific Pain Physicians

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Barbara, CA & San Luis Obispo, CA

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) as it more commonly referred to today, is a pain disorder that usually affects one of your limbs. Pacific Pain Physicians, in Santa Barbara, California, diagnose and treat RSD/CRPS with customized therapies to relieve your pain and improve your mobility and quality of life. If you suffer from intense or chronic pain, call Pacific Pain Physicians or make an appointment online today.



What is RSD?

RSD or CRPS is a rare but intense condition that causes localized pain a specific region of your body, usually in one of your limbs. There are two types of CRPS, I and II. CRPS II is the pain syndrome caused by confirmed nerve injury or damage. If you don’t have confirmed nerve damage, your pain syndrome is diagnosed as CRPS I.

In many cases, CRPS develops after a stroke or traumatic injuries like fractures or burns. You may also develop CRPS after an immobilization treatment such as wearing a cast. CRPS is an abnormal pain response that intensifies and extends your pain beyond what would normally be expected from your injury or condition.

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

The primary symptom of CRPS is prolonged, intense pain in a limb. You may have a burning or tingling sensation or feel like your limb is being squeezed. Your pain may begin in your hand or foot and then extend through your arm or leg. CRPS also causes symptoms including changes to the temperature and skin color of the affected limb. You may also have swelling. 

How is CRPS diagnosed?

There is no single diagnostic test to identify CRPS. Pacific Pain Physicians combine a physical exam with a variety of tests to rule out other conditions or issues that could be causing your pain such as arthritis, Lyme disease, or diabetic neuropathy. Your doctor also asks you about your medical history as CRPS is often linked to a prior injury.

How is CRPS treated?

Pacific Pain Physicians offer a variety of customizable treatments to relieve CRPS.

  • Stellate ganglion block - also referred to as a sympathetic nerve block, this minimally invasive procedure delivers a solution including a local anesthetic and a steroid to your stellate ganglion nerve cluster in your neck
  • Rehabilitation therapy - an exercise program to improve blood flow, strength, and flexibility in the affected limb
  • Medicine - medicine can reduce inflammation and reduce nerve pain
  • Spinal cord stimulation - an implantable device that sends a mild electrical current to a location in your spinal nerves to disrupt pain messages

Call Pacific Pain Physicians or schedule a consultation online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for CRPS and other pain syndromes.