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RSD/CRPS

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FAQs on Prescription Pain Cream for CRPS and RSD

What is CRPS/RSD?

            CRPS stands for complex regional pain syndrome and was once referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy or RSD. These are muscular pain syndromes that are thought to be rare and are still not completely understood.

There are two forms of CRPS known as Type I, which is usually caused by minor nerve damage, and Type II, which is caused by major nerve damage. In most all cases, the symptoms are due to a trauma or injury. This disorder spreads to other areas in more than two thirds of patients.

What are the Symptoms?

There are four main symptoms that most all patients have in common. Usually there is

  • Chronic pain present, which is associated with a burning sensation.
  • Inflammation is generally present and often accompanied by swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Bruising of the affected area.

Additionally, this disorder can cause vasoconstriction, (constriction of blood vessels) and painful muscle spasms. Patients of CRPS may also suffer from insomnia as well as emotional disturbances, short term memory loss, confusion and loss of cognitive abilities.

Why is it debilitating?

            Complex regional pain syndrome is extremely painful and can become debilitating. In many situations, the pain of CRPS is much worse than the original injury thought to have caused it.

If this disorder remains untreated, it can allow the pain and inflammation to spread to other areas not associated with the original trauma. This can also lead to a lifetime of debilitation. Patients may suffer from changes in the brain and/or spinal cord. It may also greatly affect the amount of oxygen received by the limbs.

How do topical pain creams help CRPS/RSD?

            There is no traditional diagnosis method for CRPS currently in place, other than using patient symptoms and medical history. There are many treatments being prescribed and recommended with success. One of these is topical creams to alleviate symptoms.

Some of these are more effective because they do not enter the digestive tract and are immediately absorbed into the area that is affected. Many medications cause undesirable side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach ulcers when taken internally. Topical creams nearly eliminate all of these and, in most cases, are much more expedient.

What are the types of pain cream available for CRPS/RSD?

Low dose Ketamine topical creams have been found to be successful in treating CRPS. However, the use of high dose Ketamine creams is currently not permitted within the United States. Ketamine is effective by blocking NMDA receptors and is thought to be the most powerful medication available to do so. Individuals should always consult a physician when using this medication. It has been known to cause nausea even when applied externally.

Topical creams containing analgesics such as aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams are very useful for treating CRPS. These types of medication often bring about relief much quicker than those that must be consumed. There are also lidocaine creams, which numb the area, available to relieve the pain associated with this disorder.

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