Is there a promising treatment option for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?

Is there a promising treatment option for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?

A team of researchers, led by Dr. Andreas Goebel from the University of Liverpool’s Pain Research Institute, set out to better understand the immunological causes for Complex Regional Pin Syndrome (CRPS) and found a potential treatment for the painful condition. Their study was published in PNAS.

CRPS is a severe post-traumatic pain condition affecting one or more limbs and is associated with regional pain and sensory, bone and skin changes. The causes of CRPS are not fully understood.

The researchers examined antibodies in the serum of these CRPS patients to ascertain the potential role of these proteins for causing the condition; they were particularly interested to assess ‘neuroinflammation’ – antibody-induced raised levels of inflammatory mediators such as Interleukin 1 (IL-1) in either peripheral tissues or brain.

IL-1 is known to normally induce local and systemic body-responses aimed to eliminate microorganisms and repair tissue damage. However, an increasing number of clinical conditions have been identified in which IL-1 production is considered inappropriate and IL-1 is part of the cause of the disease.

The researchers transferred the antibodies from patients with long-lasting CRPS to mice and found that these antibodies consistently caused a CRPS-like condition. An important element of ‘transferred CRPS’ was glial cell activation, a type of ‘neuroinflammation’ in pain-related parts of the mouse brains. The team then discovered that ‘blocking’ of IL-1 with a clinically available drug, ‘anakinra’ helped to both prevent and reverse all of these changes in the animals.

Researchers from the University of Pécs (Hungary), University of Budapest (Hungary), University of Manchester, University of Sheffield and The Walton Centre National Health Service Foundation Trust in Liverpool were also involved in the study.

Dr Andreas Goebel, said: “Our results support previous clinical observations that patients with persistent CRPS should respond to immune treatments with a reduction of at least some of their disease features.”

“This approach has attractive therapeutic potential and could also have a real impact on the treatment of other unexplained chronic pain conditions; we plant now to apply for funds to test the effect of this and similar drugs in patients with CRPS,” Dr. Goebel added.

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Authored by: Staff

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Audrey M. VanGessel

Dr Goebel & team. Thank You so much for sharing this incredible information. I would be a very willing participant in any studies you that you will be having.


Maxlet, l also suffer from chronic nerve pain that resulted from nerve damage during surgery. My doctor refers to it as “nerve pain,” “neuropathy” and “neuropathic pain.” It is very similar to CRPS. I’ve had it for 25 years. Gabapentin and opioids lessen the pain in my case. They might work for you. Good luck in finding a doctor who is compassionate and professional enough to prescribe them in the dosage you may require.

Katie Olmstead

Maxlet: My RSD started in my knee and is now in my thoracic and cervical spine. Doctors don’t know what to do. Sometimes they name it degeneration and sometimes CRPS. It is being treated symptomatically and with opioids. I know that most times CRPS is in a limb but I have had several doctors say that my ongoing pain is CRPS. It started 21 years ago. At least my knee isn’t too painful if I am careful!

Sandra Thomas

I too want to know how I can help! I’m a disabled for 30plus years. Learned technology though my cell phone. I just need how to get information about how to chronic pain patients. I know alot about our so called epidemic we’re going through but not about individuals them. Would love to learn more

Lisa Ann Hall

No there never is an never will be they all treat us like lab rats. After 18 yrs of pain I do believe that I know what works and what don’t. I hope u all agree with me


I suffer from CRPS & have for many years. I’ve tried numerous treatments in hopes of relieving some of my pain & swelling with little to no relief. So thankful to see that there is research being done in hopes of finding a cure. I will be praying for funding in order to continue with this research.


Karen, I am sorry for the widespread you and pain you have to deal with each day. I know from my own dealing with RSD. I HEAR YOU and want to let you know I understand some of your struggles. Thank you for reaching out to all of us. Ashley!

It s past time to stop +expose the illegally criminal persucation of the dea war in law abiding American pain patients+our good primary care doctors helping patients in horrible pain +suffering while acahol+illegal drugs run rampet+flood our streets??the dea are evil monsters that are exacet mirror images of the KGB in Russia or the same group in China tourtureing the people+breaking every law in the book to do it?Americans +Congress its passed time to eliminate this gang of in numonitered thugs who destroy who they chose for no lawful reason?it past time to put these demons back unto the pits of hell where they came from period?


Interesting, & I hope they come up with something that works for crps sufferers.

anyone ever heard of something just like crps that’s not in a limb, but a central body area? (in my case, over lower ribcage, it developed after thoracic surgery in 2001). Nobody seems to know what to call it.

It would be a blessing to those who suffer from this painful disease. I can’t imagine the horror they go through daily with this disease especially now with the govt taking away pain meds.
I have chronic pain from stenosis, arthritis in my spine, bulging discs, scoliosis & other things. So I know how devastating pain can be, but I don’t know pain the way these people do. Anything that would truly relieve systems & pain is a blessing. But like all the other studies, I hope this one really is the one that will work.