Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability. It lasts longer than "normal healing" (several months), and can cause severe problems.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. It is condition that involves abnormal nerve inflammation and nerve dysfunction. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke or a heart attack. The pain is usually out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.
Signs and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome include:
- Continuous burning or throbbing pain, usually in your arm, leg, hand or foot
- Sensitivity to touch or cold
- Swelling of the painful area
- Changes in skin temperature — alternating between sweaty and cold
- Changes in skin color, ranging from white and mottled to red or blue
- Changes in skin texture, which may become tender, thin or shiny in the affected area
- Changes in hair and nail growth
- Joint stiffness, swelling and damage
- Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness and loss (atrophy)