CRPS Course for Pediatricians Hoping To Promote Quicker Diagnosis and Treatment 

CRPS Course for Pediatricians Hoping To Promote Quicker Diagnosis and Treatment 

By Ed Coghlan.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can affect someone, no matter what the age.

And that includes children.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic (lasting greater than six months) pain condition that most often affects one limb (arm, leg, hand, or foot) usually after an injury

“Most pediatricians simply don’t see many cases of CRPS, they might see only one or two in their lifetime,” said Elliot Krane, MD, FAAP, Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine (Pediatric Anesthesia) at the Stanford University Medical Center and of Pediatrics at the Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital.

That’s why the development of an accredited online course focused on the Diagnosis and Treatment of CRPS in Children is so important.

The Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDSA), with financial underwriting from Zoe’s Heroes, has developed the course, aimed at educating pediatricians and other caregivers.

Dr. Krane believes that since so few pediatricians see CRPS; it may actually negatively impact how it’s effectively treated. CRPS can get worse if it is not identified and treated quickly.

“There are too few training programs and too few pediatric pain specialists,” he said. “This course helps reach those who treat children and explain the science, how to recognize it, how it’s treated, when to refer.”

Dr. Krane sees about a case per week.

“Recently, a child came is who twisted an ankle on a hike,” he said. “Four to five days later the pain was still intense and we knew it was CRPS.”

He explained if the severity and length of the pain is out of proportion to the injury, it’s a sign of CRPS. The hope is this course will reach providers who will better be prepared to identify and treat it. One-hour credit will be given for ACCME, ANCC, and TXPT.

We are so excited that we have filmed Dr. Krane and we are grateful for Zoes Heroes for their financial underwriting of the course,” said Jim Broatch, the long-time Executive Director of RSDSA.

Here’s more information on the course. (Link)

The RSDSA has a request for the readers of the National Pain Report. Share comments on how the organization can market the availability of this online course to pediatricians, school nurses and physical therapists. Share your thoughts in our comment section.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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This is a wonderful idea! I would like to take the video and contact my local hospital to request a group viewing. I would think that they would be a great source to work with in gathering local pediatricians.


I’m grateful for the wonderful work that the pediatric community does for our precious kids with this monster. My only question or super interest is how they can put our young kiddos in a long time remission. Without Ketamine and large amounts of opioids. I don’t get it. I’m glad they can keep their young lives happy and fulfilled. But what about adults????


Well thank God that CRPS for children is at least getting some attention. It’s a lot harder diagnosing children as they are not that great at describing pain with any detail, therefore the doctors need to be educated in a way that they can spot the signs of CRPS without much effort. We’re taking baby steps, hopefully we can bring some national attention to CRPS in adults as well. CRPS is almost totally debilitating at times, if someone had cancer, MS, or other painful conditions, there would be no question as to the treatment for the conditions, pain medication. Even with the ongoing opiod epidemic spiraling out of control you can’t tell me that a bone cancer patient is going to be denied treatment for the pain. If I had a magic wand and I could wave it at the people behind cutting back people’s pain meds, and let them spend some time suffering with the pain that I have 24 hours per day, until they beg for some pain medication to ease their suffering a bit, then maybe some things would change. Let’s face it, you can’t win a battle waged by insurance companies to shore up their bottom line, especially when senators and congressman are getting paper bags filled with cash. I’m afraid the writing is on the wall, chronic pain patients are just going to have to change their lives and stop participating in life itself.

A major mystery in CRPS is it’s similarity to Ischemic Stroke. Ischemic Stroke is a condition where certain blood vessels tighten, cutting off blood flow to parts of the brain. CRPS seems to involve a tightening of blood vessels, cutting off blood flow to certain muscles.

A person with ischemic stroke can suddenly black out or lose the ability to see, hear, or move.
The affected parts of the brain get reduced oxygen supplies and cannot function.

A person with CRPS loses the use of the affected muscle, because the lack of oxygen supply to the muscle, makes the muscle too weak to move and causes extreme pain.

Because muscles have nerve endings that sense pain, the oxygen shortage to the muscle is what causes CRPS to be a chronic pain condition. Ischemic stroke can occur with migraine pain or can be painless, because the brain itself has no nerve endings inside it to sense pain.

The reason why blood vessels suddenly tighten, might be easier to understand, if we fully understood what controls their tightness. At present, there’s ongoing debate over the structures involved. Pre-capillary sphincter muscles were theorized to exist in 1945. They were thought to be loops of smooth muscle that pinched blood vessels shut or opened them back up. Two of Japan’s top electron microscopists engaged in a lengthy debate, over whether high-magnification electron microscopy had revealed these nanoscale muscles to exist, or not. Sakai and Hosoyamada write an English-language review of the 7-decade ongoing argument on just exactly what causes blood vessels to pinch shut and then reopen (J Physiol Sci (2013) 63: 319. ) that’s worth reading.

What’s not in any doubt is that blood vessels appear to tighten in response to anxiety.

Irrationally compelling people with a CRPS pain to suffer more pain because of some idiotic political policy limiting access to pain treatment, increases their anxiety and makes their suffering worse.


Hopefully the course will cover patients of all ages & sex without discrimination as Crps shows none

A cist effective idea that may provide some marketing of the online course would be to provide a PDF file attachment on the course to all your readers. Your reader population makes personal visits to many of your target audience mentioned.

Another idea: to reach out to the appropriate medical associations that your target audience may me members of. These associations may also have advertising available in their own publications.

Thank you,
Ron G.


It’s about time. No more pediatricians, I hope, saying to a child, “Your ankle hurts? Suck it up.” Yeah, that’s what he said.