This syndrome includes all the post-traumatic limb pain and other disturbances that continue even though the injury has healed. But the causes of the symptoms of the syndrome are unknown.
This is due to the fact that there are very few objective findings, diagnosis and the treatment is difficult. Some have even raised the question of whether such syndromes are real or are a result of psychosomatic illness.
Dr. Anne Louise Oaklander and colleagues, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, did sensory testing and quantitative nerve assessment.
They tested 18 patients on the affected and unaffected sites who suffer from complex regional pain syndrome. The findings were reported in the journal Pain.
Seven subjects without complex regional pain syndrome, but with similar symptoms served as controls.
It was found that the complex regional pain syndrome patients had previous histories and symptoms for the disorder and was often associated with medical procedures.
On testing the patients it was found that these areas were highly sensitive to mechanical and heat-induced pain and also showed decreased nerve fiber densities. In case of the controls they did not display these reductions at their pain sites.
Hence the researchers concluded by saying that complex regional pain syndrome patients should be evaluated by neurologists who specialize in nerve injury.
They should also be treated with medications or other procedures that has been proved effective for other nerve-injury pain syndromes.