Movement representation techniques: it’s a fuzzy name, but it might just work!

A systematic review and meta-analysis has just come out in The Journal of Pain looking at the efficacy of “movement representation techniques” for people with limb pain. Now, you might ask “what is a movement representation technique”? Well, according to the authors of this review, a movement representation technique can encompass any therapy that … [Read more...]

Could your state of mind influence CRPS recovery?

We know that recovery from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is variable: whilst some people make a relatively full recovery in a few months, others are left with pain and symptoms that persist for years [2].  What factors might influence this recovery process?  Current theories argue that in a way, CRPS can be viewed as an overprotective … [Read more...]

A Virtual Balloon-Popping Task for Kids with CRPS

Virtual reality (VR) has been used to treat pain for over twenty years. Initial attempts took advantage of the immersive, interactive qualities of VR to distract patients who were undergoing painful procedures; for example, by sending burn patients through a snowy virtual world with animated snowmen while their wounds were being cleaned [1].  Later … [Read more...]

Specific autoantibodies in patients with longstanding CRPS

We recently published a study on antibodies found in the blood of patients with longstanding Complex Regional Pain Syndrome [1]. Antibodies are substances produced by the body’s immune system. Their best-known role is to fight infection. However sometimes they go wrong, and bind to the body’s own cells, causing dysfunction or damage. These … [Read more...]

Painful view on motor actions

Imagine you sprained your wrist. It’s aching, swollen and reddish. You want to move the hand to see if it is ok, but the fear of pain makes you hesitate and it takes extra effort to do it. Even thinking about movement can be unpleasant and you focus on doing things with the healthy hand. After days and weeks, as the trauma heals, the pain passes … [Read more...]

Sympathetic blocks for complex regional pain syndrome

Based largely on his clinical experience, the founding father of modern pain medicine, John J. Bonica, recommended that complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) be treated with a series of sympathetic blocks as soon as possible after symptoms develop. Although this sometimes seems to work well, the value of this approach has been questioned because of … [Read more...]

Capturing and sharing the voice and experiences of those who are living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is difficult to diagnose and is characterised by burning pain in one or more limbs, with 15-20% of patients developing long term disability [1]. The cause is unknown and there is currently no cure. As a consequence, people living with CRPS often turn to the Internet to seek CRPS-related information and support … [Read more...]

Sensory conflicts may increase limb pain in CRPS by activating mechanisms of general facilitation of nociception

I continue to be fascinated by the perplexing symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is characterised by the changeable nature of symptoms throughout the day and during the course of the disease, and patients with CRPS often perceive the affected limb as larger than its actual size (Moseley, 2005; Peltz et al., 2011). Patients with … [Read more...]

Capillary dysfunction in CRPS?

Reports suggest that muscles lack oxygen and skin oxygenation is impaired in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). While CRPS might be related to tissue ischemia-reperfusion, the affected limb is often hyperperfused, suggesting that oxygen extraction is severely impaired instead. In a recent paper in Pain, we speculate that capillary flow … [Read more...]

World Congress on Pain comes to you. 1: Disentangling CRPS

Adios Buenos Aires, IASP World Congress is always such a big beast. Vast conference halls, so many possible sessions to attend, so many posters to view and in this case so many fantastic Argentinian steaks to eat and wash down with equally fantastic Malbec. But you often leave trying to make sense of what you have heard and what, if anything, … [Read more...]