Home  > Blog > Hand Therapy & Customized Splinting > Finger, Hand, Wrist, Forearm & Elbow Conditions > Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Hand Therapy

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Hand Therapy

“Working with a knowledgeable hand therapist can make the difference between success and failure in complex hand surgical cases. The therapist extends the continuum of our care, as well as functioning as coach and trainer for our patients.”

Marybeth Ezaki, MD, Past President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand

In Phoenix Rehab, our senior hand therapists are experienced licensed and dedicated therapists (physiotherapists and/or occupational therapists) who specialized ONLY in the rehabilitation, treatment and management of painful fingers, hands, wrists, forearm & elbow conditions, because of interest, passion and expertise.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), previously known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), is a pain condition that can be the result of an injury or may occur without an injury.

Typically, the pain associated with CRPS is generally in the area of an injury or can spread over the entire arm. People with CRPS can have an unusual response to something painful or a painful response to something that shouldn’t be painful such as

  • light touch
  • vibrations
  • cold
  • heat
  • etc

Stiffness, swelling and color changes in the hand can occur with CRPS

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

Pain is the main symptom of CRPS; however, a person may also have the following

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness in the joints of the hand or fingers
  • Sensation changes in the hand
  • Color changes in the fingers or hand
  • Temperature changes in the hand
  • Cold sensitivity
  • Abnormal hair growth in the hand or forearm
  • Abnormal sweating in the hand
  • Abnormal nail growth

What can a hand therapist do for me?

Our senior hand therapists will work with the doctor and other healthcare professionals to develop a plan of care with you.

We will show you on how to perform daily activities with less pain and teach you techniques to manage pain. We will also teach you exercises to reduce joint stiffness as well as provide techniques to reduce swelling.

We may suggest the use of an orthosis or edema glove to decrease the symptoms.

Early treatment is the key to regaining maximum functional use of your hand. Attending regular hand therapy sessions consistently and keeping up with your home exercise plan is important for optimal results.

Example of a compression glove with a supportive wrist and thumb orthosis