How Can Physical Therapy Help With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II (Causalgia)?

How Can Physical Therapy Help With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II (Causalgia)? | Capitol Physical Therapy | Washington DC Physical Therapists

Are you feeling discouraged because of the pain you’re experiencing from complex regional pain syndrome type 2?

CRPS type 2, once called causalgia, is a complex syndrome and it can be difficult to find relief from the symptoms.

While caused after damage to a peripheral nerve, you might find that your friends and family don’t understand why your pain has persisted so long after your injury.

The pain you feel is very real, and you should be given all the tools you need to help alleviate it.

If you’re ready to confront your CRPS type 2 pain, it might be time to try neurological physical therapy.

Physical therapy specifically tailored to your CRPS type 2 experience might finally alleviate some of the pain you’re feeling every day.

What Is CRPS type 2?

CRPS type 2 is another name for complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS) type II, a neurological disorder that causes intense and enduring pain.

CRPS type 2 often arises after damage to a peripheral nerve.

These nerves run from your brain and along your spine to your extremities, and the most common place for CRPS type 2 to flare up is in the nerves between your neck and arm.

While there are other types of CRPS, CRPS type 2 is usually localized to the area where the nerve was damaged.

CRPS type 2 Symptoms

CRPS type 2 is a multisystem disorder that can result in excessive sweating, tissue swelling, sensitivity to touch, and changes to your bones and skin.

You might feel a burning or aching that feels disproportionate to the original injury.

Being touched or even wearing clothes that touch the injury area may feel sensitive and trigger a pain reaction.

You may feel a pins and needles sensation or notice strange sweating around the injury site.

You may even experience swelling or stiffness in the limb affected and temperature changes around the injury site.

What Causes CRPS type 2?

CRPS type 2 starts out as a peripheral nerve injury, which can be from a fracture, sprain, illness or sometimes even a surgery.

Burns and crushing accidents can also cause peripheral nerve injuries, and so can amputations.

While we know what causes peripheral nerve injuries, less known is why some people experience such extreme symptoms from them while others don’t.

Some researchers hypothesize that people with these reactions have abnormalities in their nerves that make them experience pain signals more seriously.

You may also have a more active immune system that causes your body’s responses.

Inflammation around the injury site may also contribute to the increased pain you feel.

Physical therapy specifically tailored to your CRPS type 2 | Capitol Physical Therapy | Washington DC Physical Therapists

How Can Physical Therapy Treat CRPS type 2?

While physical therapy for CRPS type 2 may look different from physical therapy for many injuries, it can still provide great help for you in your time of need.

The severity and type of symptoms you experience will affect your treatment plan.

Your physical therapist will focus more on desensitization and working with you to overcome mental barriers around the effects of your pain.

Your team will work with you to make sure you’re healthy in all areas of your life, because the mental, social, and emotional toll of CRPS type 2 can be great.

They might help you work on your sleep hygiene and nutrition and assist you in overcoming fears related to your chronic pain.

Here are some specific areas your physical therapist might focus on for your CRPS type 2:

1. Movement Therapy

You’ll want to make sure you’re moving your affected limb after your injury as soon as you are cleared to do so by your medical providers.

This helps avoid getting contractures, which is the tightening of muscles and joints – or joint stiffness which can exacerbate the pain you’re already experiencing.

There are both passive and active movements your physical therapist can use to get you back to what you love to do.

2. Range Of Motion Exercises

You may find that your range of motion in your affected limb is very limited.

Stretches that focus on range of motion might ease the stiffness and tension in your limbs.

With restoring you back to your full range of motion a high priority, your physical therapist will work with you to find the exercises that suit your case of CRPS type 2 the best.

3. Muscle Strengthening Exercises

While it may feel intimidating to strengthen your body when it’s hurting so much, these kinds of exercises can really help keep your body in balance.

Your physical therapist might combine core exercises with ones that focus on the limb that’s bothering you.

As you build strength, you may find that your pain is more manageable.

4. Graded Motor Imagery

Graded motor imagery is a way to train your brain not to expect the pain it’s experiencing to get worse.

GMI therapy has specific stages that are tailored to those with CRPS type 2 to help override some of the worst pain signals you might experience.

Left / right discrimination training, motor imagery exercises, and mirror box therapy are all GMI techniques that might help you confront your chronic pain.

5. Education

Educating yourself about this difficult condition is one of the greatest tools you can give yourself.

With CRPS, the pain system itself is the impairment.

As a result, you have pain with minimal to no tissue damage.

This means the pain can outlast the time it takes tissues to heal after an injury or come on without a clear cause.

Pain neuroscience education and learning about CRPS type 2 alone has been shown to help reset your pain system so that you don’t get as much pain with activities that should be non-painful.

To find out more about how pain works, check out the Tedx talk below – Why Things Hurt by Lorimer Moseley.

Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today

CRPS type 2 can be extremely painful and distressing, but you don’t have to confront it alone.

We can help you manage your chronic pain from CRPS type 2 and give you the tools to keep going.

Don’t hesitate, Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy today.

Capitol Physical Therapy
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005


9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772


Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC