By Ed Coghlan.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is just what it name implies—complex. It’s not easy to diagnose, family practice and emergency room physicians don’t see a lot of it—and often time it goes undiagnosed for a critically long period of time.
“I think our group of speakers really set out to help patients learn how they can be empowered to overcome CRPS. We spoke a lot about the brain/body connection and how we can use what we know about neuroplasticity to heal our pain,” said who is an internationally known pain specialist who founded the BAPWC.
“We dived deeper into things like exercise, guided imagery, and art therapy, and how these approaches lead to positive neuroplastic changes that ultimately help better control CRPS and improve function and quality of life,” he added.
For RSDSA Executive Vice President the event, which attracted nearly 200 people, was an empowering and “spiritual” day, as he called it.
“Our seminars provide a lot of hope and are a life preserver to some individuals without social support or familiar support,” Broatch said.
One major challenge is increasing understanding of CRPS so that more early diagnoses can occur.
“We met a lot of folks from all over the US, and many live communities where CRPS is not really understood or have little to offer in the way of resources,” said Dr. Abaci. “I think it was helpful for many to realize that this is a widespread problem and that they are not alone. The connections that attendees made with others was one of the real positives of this event. Creating social networks help spread education and ultimately, hope.”
Broatch’s group host at least two seminars in different regions of the country every year to help spread awareness and build networks of providers, patients and caregivers. On September 29, there will be an event in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“We are hosting the seminar a day before our very successful and fundraising event which has raised over $100,000 for our research fund,” said Broatch. “We always film the seminars and upload them to the RSDSA of America
Broatch said the RSDSA tries to convey three very important messages: you are not alone, there is definitely hope, and most importantly, RSDSA, our staff, volunteers, and our Board of Directors are passionately dedicated to helping all those affected by CRPS to improve their lives.
The RSDSA—the non-profit that has been helping people with CRPS for over three decades—is partnering with the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center (BAPWC) for an all-day conference to discuss the latest research and state-of-the-art treatments for CRPS.