What is the role of physical and occupational therapy in the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (CRPS 1) (RSD)?

Updated: Sep 09, 2018
  • Author: T P Sudha Rao, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

As discussed above, an aggressive range-of-motion exercise program is an essential part of CRPS management. However, especially after sympathetic block or sympathectomy, this may have to be a graduated regimen, with patient-directed passive range of motion to tolerance and, later, active range of motion. When appropriate (eg, in patients with hemiplegia), the entire extremity requires attention.

Following the stellate block or sympathectomy, hand therapy may proceed without causing further pain. Ensure that the therapist does not cause pain, usually by avoiding application of passive motion. Patients can safely apply passive motion because they know when motion becomes painful.


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