Paint the World Orange Day: CRPS/RSD Awareness Day

Paint the World Orange Day

November 1st is "Paint the World Orange" day to bring awareness for CRPS/RSD. Not many are familiar with what that is,. It that's why this is so important to me. Because of the lack of knowledge and understanding, there is a lack of funding and research. CRPS is also known as the suicide disease and while rare, it was most commonly associated with veterans of war who experienced trauma.

Brochure to learn more about CRPS:

About Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

  • Chronic condition characterized by continuous, intense pain that is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury
  • There is no cure. Only treatments that do not help everyone the same.
  • There is no test for CRPS. It is typically diagnosed after ruling out everything the doctors can. Because of this, those who suffer from CRPS have extreme difficulty getting the state or federal govt to acknowledge they have a disability
  • Symptoms can include, but are not the same for everyone: 
    • Unprovoked or spontaneous pain that can be constant or fluctuate with activity
    • Excess or prolonged pain after use or contact
    • Changes in skin temperature, skin color, or swelling of the affected limb.
    • Changes in skin texture
    • Abnormal sweating and nail and hair growth
    • Stiffness in affected joints
    • Wasting away or excess bone growth
    • Impaired muscle strength and movement
  • Treatments include: 
    • Nerve Blocks (similar to an epidural but without the paralyzing affects)
    • Physical Therapy
    • Psycho Therapy
    • Neurstimulator Implant (similar to an internal tens unit that masks the pain signals the nerves are sending to the brain)
    • Amputation
    • Radiofrequency Ablation (burning the nerves)

For someone like myself who has lived with the pain for 15 years, amputation was not advised because the ghost pains from living with the chronic pain so long could cause a severe over reaction from my nerves, making the CRPS worse. 

They do say that in some cases, especially if treatment starts early, patients can go into remission and the pain resolves itself; but additional injuries to the affected area can cause the CRPS to come back. It's also fairly rare to get treatment early because many doctors don't understand the disease enough to diagnose or help it.  

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