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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Specialist

Edward Carden, MD -  - Interventional Pain Management Physician

Edward Carden, MD

Interventional Pain Management Physician located in Sherman Oaks, CA

Complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS) is a chronic pain condition that usually affects one of your limbs. At his practice in Sherman Oaks, California, Edward Carden, MD, is one of only a few pain management experts in Los Angeles who treat CRPS. If you have continuous, throbbing pain in one of your limbs or other signs of CRPS, call Dr. Carden to schedule an appointment.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Q&A

What is CRPS?

CRPS is a relatively rare chronic pain disorder that usually affects one region of your body, like an arm or a leg. CRPS isn’t wholly understood, although medical researchers believe it’s due to dysfunction in your peripheral nervous system. 

There are two types of CRPS: Type I and Type II. Type I CRPS, which used to be called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), often doesn’t have an identifiable cause or a related nerve injury. Type II CRPS typically develops after a traumatic injury like a fracture that causes a nerve injury.

Anyone can develop CRPS, although it’s more common in women. Your risk for CRPS also peaks around the age of 40.

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

CRPS symptoms are highly variable. Your symptoms can change from day-to-day and become more or less severe. In addition to regional pain, common signs of CRPS include:

  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle spasms and tremors
  • Skin temperature alternates between cold and sweaty
  • Skin looks blotchy red or blue
  • Skin becomes thin and shiny
  • Hair and nail growth slows
  • Decreased ability to move the affected limb

Your symptoms can also spread. For example, if you have CRPS in your right arm, you could also develop symptoms in your left arm.

How is CRPS diagnosed?

While there isn’t a specific test to identify CRPS, Dr. Carden provides thorough exams and testing to rule out other conditions and confirm your diagnosis. He reviews your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle. 

Dr. Carden might run tests to check for arthritis, Lyme disease, vein clots, and neuropathy. It’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis, because other conditions that can cause similar symptoms require different treatments.

How is CRPS treated?

Dr. Carden provides individualized treatment plans after confirming your diagnosis and developing his understanding of your symptoms and health. Depending on your specific needs, Dr. Carden might prescribe medications, including pain relievers, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, and sympathetic nerve-blocking drugs. 

He also offers intrathecal pain pumps, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and spinal cord stimulation. Dr. Carden might also recommend physical therapy to help alleviate your symptoms and pain. 

If you’re concerned about CRPS, call Dr. Carden to schedule a consultation today.