Pain: Complex regional pain syndrome

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Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a debilitating, painful condition in a limb associated with sensory, motor, autonomic, skin and bone abnormalities. Pain is typically the leading symptom, but it is often associated with limb dysfunction and psychological distress. Prompt diagnosis and early treatment are required to avoid secondary physical problems related to disuse of the affected limb and the psychological consequences of living with undiagnosed chronic pain.

This guideline concerns the diagnosis and management of patients with CRPS and provides recommendations for diagnosis, treatment and referral in a variety of clinical settings (GP practice, orthopaedic practice, rheumatology, neurology and neurosurgery, dermatology, pain medicine, rehabilitation medicine and long-term care). Its purpose is to provide coherent guidance for professionals working in the different health specialties who care for these patients

This guideline was originally published in Clinical Medicine, volume 11, issue 6.

Who's involved


  • Association of Orthopaedic Practitioners UK
  • The British Psychological Society
  • British Orthopaedic Association
  • College of Occupational Therapists
  • Royal College of General Practitioners
  • The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • The British Pain Society
  • The Physiotherapy Pain Association
  • Pain Relief Foundation