New light on bone formation in CRPS?

The variability of signs and symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), may represent between-patient variability in the pathological mechanisms at work. One often forgotten CRPS feature is impaired bone formation yet this has been found in up to fifty percent of patients regardless of disease duration [1]. German Surgeon Paul Sudeck … [Read more...]

A tool for communicating body perception disturbances

Some people with persistent pain have altered perceptions of parts of their body. For example they can perceive their affected limbs as having some distortions of size, perhaps with enlarged hands or very thin forearms. They can also feel that the limb is in a different position to its actual location and that areas of body or limb segments are … [Read more...]

Do People Recover from CRPS?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a condition which can invoke fear and dread both in patients and healthcare providers.  Many patients I’ve met who have been told they’ve got CRPS have done a little searching on Dr Google and come away terrified, thinking CRPS is a life sentence, worrying it might never get any better, having read that … [Read more...]

Motor dysfunction in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is related to proprioceptive deficits

Imagine that you want to grab a cup of coffee. Successful planning and execution of this and many other everyday life tasks crucially depends on a good sense of the position and movements of your body parts (= proprioception). Such tasks would be very difficult to perform if you have no (or perhaps the wrong) idea of where your hand is, or what it … [Read more...]

Preserved ability to integrate a rubber hand indicates intact multisensory integration in CRPS

To the avid BiM reader the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) is probably well-known and old hat (for the not-so avid reader see below*). It is a popular paradigm because it can be used to investigate a) functionality of multisensory integration in corresponding brain areas and b) pre-existing mental representations of the body, i.e. body image [1]. We … [Read more...]

Can pain change our brain maps?

We recently published a paper on the function of the primary somatosensory cortex in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is a region of the cortex –the outer layer of the brain –which houses a precise and organised map of our body’s surface. Every part of our body surface is represented here by a network or … [Read more...]

How should we treat CRPS? Navigating the evidence hodgepodge.

There is no shortage of clinical guidelines for CRPS. Since 2010 we have had guidelines from the Netherlands, from the UK and in the last few months from the USA. Guidelines are always an interesting beast.  They usually involve an exercise in evidence synthesis, consideration by a panel of experts, many of whom are (and I shudder to use the term) … [Read more...]

Should we turn away people with CRPS?

Two foods I love eating regularly (and that’s probably not a good thing for the latter) are tuna and ice cream. Thankfully, I have a firm grasp of the concept that some things just weren’t made for mixing. You might think this is a funny way to start a blog post on CRPS… but I promise you the Adelaide heat hasn’t fried my brain. I contend that … [Read more...]

The Dark Side of La Mano, or Space-Temperature Interactions in CRPS

I was unsure about that title, but I figured it's holiday season and I am going to talk about work I did with two Italians, and I know there are some Pink Floyd fans out there. Somewhere. If you have never heard of Pink or Floyd, then go with the subtitle - Space - temperature interactions in CRPS. Earlier this year, Alberto Gallace, Charlie Spence … [Read more...]

Impaired spatial body representation in CRPS I

Imagine being offered one half of a Snickers Bar that on first glance was cut into two equal halves. Unless a machine bisected it, the right half would still be just a tiny bit larger. Why is that? Roughly said, the brain’s hemispheres are responsible for different functions. The right hemisphere is specialized in spatial abilities. When asked to … [Read more...]