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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

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Cannabis for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is often split into two types, and is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke or a heart attack. Symptoms include continuous burning or throbbing pain, sensitivity to touch or cold, swelling, changes in skin temperature, muscle spasms, decreased mobility, depression, insomnia and more.

The two types of CRPS are complex regional pain syndrome type 1 and complex regional pain syndrome type 2. Type 1 is more common, and constitutes 90% of CRPS sufferers. It is also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). This type occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage the nerves in your affected limb. Type 2 is similar to type 1, but occurs after a nerve injury.

The cause of CRPS isn’t precisely known, but it is often linked to other injuries or illnesses. Patients with neuropathic pain associated with CRPS have responded well to low doses of vaporized cannabis. There are some patients, doctors and researchers who have some good anecdotal evidence as well. Medical cannabis and cannabinoids could be an ideal replacement for other prescription medications many find intolerable due to their adverse side-effects, like stronger types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDSs), anticonvulsants like gabapentin & pregabalin, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and opioids.

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