Season 4

Episode 11

Complex Pain Syndrome

In this episode we will discuss Complex Regional Pain.  Our Guest, Barby Ingle returns from a previous episode on Endometriosis. 

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic (lasting greater than six months) pain condition that most often affects one limb (arm, leg, hand, or foot) usually after an injury.  CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems.  The central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord; the peripheral nervous system involves nerve signaling from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.  CRPS is characterized by prolonged or excessive pain and changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected area.

CRPS is divided into two types:  CRPS-I and CRPS-II. Individuals without a confirmed nerve injury are classified as having CRPS-I (previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome).  CRPS-II (previously known as causalgia) is when there is an associated, confirmed nerve injury.  As some research has identified evidence of nerve injury in CRPS-I, it is unclear if this disorders will always be divided into two types.  Nonetheless, the treatment is similar.

CRPS symptoms vary in severity and duration, although some cases are mild and eventually go away.  In more severe cases, individuals may not recover and may have long-term disability.

Barby Ingle is an author, reality personality, and lives with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), migralepsy, endometriosis and other pain disorders. Barby is a chronic pain educator, patient advocate, and president of the International Pain Foundation.

She is also a motivational speaker and best-selling author on pain topics. Her blog, reality shows and media appearances are used as a platform to help her become an ePatient advocate, and she now travels the country attending healthcare conferences, speaking publicly, sharing her story, educating and advocating for patients across the globe. She has received 19 accommodations over the years for her advocacy work