Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

RSD(S)-CRPS Advisory
Common Types of Pain
Common types of pain

Pain usually falls into one of two categories:

Nociceptive pain is caused by damage to tissue. It is usually described as sharp, aching, or
throbbing pain. It can be due to benign pathology, tumors or cancer cells that are growing
larger and crowding body parts near the cancer site. It may also be from cancer that has
spread to the bones, muscles, or joints, or caused a blockage of an organ or blood vessels.

Neuropathic pain happens when there is actual nerve damage. Nerves connect the spinal
cord to the rest of the body and allow the brain to communicate with the skin, muscles and
internal organs. Nutritional unbalance, alcoholism, toxins, infections or auto-immunity can
cause painful neuropathies from diseases such as kidney failure. Neuropathic pain may be
caused by a tumor pressing on a nerve or a group of nerves. People often describe this pain
as a burning or heavy sensation, or numbness along the path of the affected nerve. The
cause of a neuropathic pain remains unknown in a third of the cases.

Chronic Back and Leg Pain
Chronic back and leg pain is described as pain that is felt in the back and/or leg that may
result from spinal diseases including: arachnoiditis, degenerative disc disease, epidural
fibrosis, failed back surgery syndrome, lumbar disc herniation, osteoporosis, and spinal
stenosis. Back pain is often located in the lower back, but it may extend to other areas,
such as the thighs, calves, and feet. Affected areas may feel tender or sore to the touch,
and the pain may increase with movement. This type of pain can be felt as sharp or
knife-like pain, a burning sensation, or as a dull muscular ache. Symptoms can range from
mildly uncomfortable to completely disabling.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
CRPS usually develops in the foot or hand after an injury (such
as a broken bone) or surgery that may involve nerve damage. CRPS
is the abbreviation used to describe two painful syndromes also
known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS type I) and
Causalgia (CRPS Type II). The overriding symptom is extreme pain
-- frequently described as burning. Other symptoms can include
sensitivity to touch, skin changes, swelling, weakness, and
decreased function of the hand/foot.

In 2001, there were more than 150,000 CRPS patients in Europe.

Painful Neuropathies
Painful neuropathies are a common collection of neurological disorders resulting from
damage to nerves that generate severe chronic pain. Nerves connect the spinal cord to the
body and help the brain communicate with skin, muscles, and internal organs.

Painful neuropathies may be caused by nutritional imbalances, alcoholism, toxins,
infections, or autoimmunity, or may be the result of illnesses such as kidney failure or
cancer. In approximately one-third of cases, the cause of neuropathy is unknown.

They have common symptoms such as pain, burning, weakness, and numbness. These
symptoms most often appear in the hands or feet. Treatment is focused on the underlying
disease or condition if it is known.

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