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Coping with complex regional pain syndrome after an injury

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2020 | Workers' Comp

Complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic condition that causes intense nerve pain after traumatic injury or surgery. CRPS can arise after a workplace injury, motor vehicle accident or surgical procedure.

CRPS often causes long-term disability and requires intensive treatment for pain relief.

CRPS symptoms

This nerve condition arises with a burning, throbbing pain that affects the injured area. For example, if a person broke his or her leg after a workplace injury, pain may continue in that leg after it heals. Other symptoms may include:

  • Muscle atrophy
  • Loss of mobility
  • Hot or cold sensations
  • Strange skin temperature or color
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Swelling

The pain may worsen over time and spread to other body parts.


Medical experts are not sure why some people get CRPS after a serious injury. While anyone can develop CRPS, it disproportionately occurs among:

  • Females
  • Individuals ages 20 to 40
  • Individuals who suffered an injury involving forceful impact, crushing or fracture.

CRPS most commonly affects women and those in the 20 to 40 age group. However, anyone can develop this condition after surgery or injury.


In the case of suspected CRPS, the doctor will take a medical history and review the person’s symptoms. He or she will also conduct tests to rule out other conditions. With a CRPS diagnosis, management of chronic pain requires a multifaceted treatment plan that may include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Antidepressants or antiseizure medications
  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications
  • Occupational and physical therapy

When CRPS occurs after a workplace injury, the person can seek Ohio workers’ compensation benefits that will cover these treatments and other expenses.