How is physical therapy used in the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (CRPS 1) (RSD)?

Updated: Mar 09, 2021
  • Author: T P Sudha Rao, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Other features of physical therapy include the following:

  • Massage of the involved extremity is an important component of therapy

  • The patient requires close follow-up, education, and encouragement to maintain an exercise routine

  • Heat therapy relaxes muscle spasms, improves motion, and relieves pain

  • Judicious use of splinting with Thermoplast and Velcro straps in the balanced hand position may help to prevent shortening of the collateral ligaments of involved joints and may provide intermittent pain relief; the splint must be comfortably fit, and needs to be removed frequently throughout the day for exercise and massage

  • Record routine measurements of the patient's strength and range of motion; this provides encouragement to the patient and facilitates communication between the therapist and the treating physician

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