Treating The Body As A Whole
While learning how to treat the neurologic symptoms of CRPS, my basic holistic training and upbringing have come in very handy. That training has taught me that, unlike the mechanistic approach, the body is not like an engine. What I mean by that is that you cannot just treat different parts, forgetting that every part is connected to every other part. The body is incredibly intelligent, far above our understanding as human beings. Every second, trillions of cells are being repaired or replaced, hormones are being produced, vitamins are being gathered from the food you eat and delivered to the cells that need them. All of this without a thought from you.
Brain fog and memory loss
Chronic bladder infections
CRPS spreading to other areas
Decreased immune function
Past viral and/or bacterial infections
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Types and Phases
CRPS is associated with imbalance and malfunction of the autonomic nervous system resulting in disability, impairment, chronic pain, and functional loss. The International Association for the Study of Pain has proposed dividing CRPS into two types.
Formerly known as Sudeck’s atrophy or reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) does not exhibit demonstrable nerve lesions. The vast majority of people suffering from CRPS have this type.
Formerly known as causalgia, has obvious nerve damage present. As a rule, type II is considered the more painful of the two types with an unenviable 47/50 score on the McGill pain scale.
While CRPS was considered in the past to have three stages, it is now believed that patients with CRPS do not necessarily progress through these stages, or progress sequentially.
Characterized by intense, burning pain at the site of injury. Muscle spasms, joint stiffness, swelling, restricted mobility, vasospasms, rapid nail, and hair growth, decrease in temperature and decreased range of motion have all been reported. This has also been called “wet CRPS” as some patients may experience increased sweating. For a few lucky patients, this stage may last for a few weeks and then resolve on its own. For the unlucky majority, it progresses.
Characterized by even more intense pain, described by some as similar to the sensation of burning alive or being burned with a blowtorch. Hair growth is inhibited; swelling spreads; osteoporosis becomes severe; nails may crack, pit, grooved, or have spots on them; joints tend to thicken, and the muscles will atrophy or shrink, causing the affected limb to appear thinner than the other.
Characterized by permanent changes in the skin and bones, while the pain becomes even more intense and now may involve the entire limb. Flexor tendon contractions may be present causing the limb or appendage to contract (much like a claw). The symptoms may spread to any other body part, for example, the optic nerves or the digestive system.
It Doesn’t Have To Be A Long, Painful Journey
The Vagus Nerve’s Relationship With CRPS
Heal From Within