Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and OT Treatment

Complex regional pain syndrome: Practical diagnostic and treatment guidelines is the most cited journal article about CRPS containing information and occupational therapy from the past 5 years.


The article appeared in the Journal of Pain Medicine in 2013.

This article is a great read for any therapists who work with CRPS or anyone who has the condition and is interested in treatment options.

Initial treatment recommendations from this article:

  • Mirror Visual Feedback

  • Graded Motor Imagery

  • Desensitization

  • Exposure Therapy

Please see page 8 of the article for a complete diagram of treatment recommendations.

Option for referencing CRPS best practices in your documentation:

The journal article “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Practical Diagnostic and Treatment Guidelines” (Pain Medicine, 2013) indicates that the best known treatment, at this time, for CRPS is interdisciplinary pain management techniques emphasizing functional restoration. Skilled occupational therapy is required for our holistic approach to pain management. OT interventions can range from desensitization techniques to understanding and assessing personal factors such as support system and environment. As the journal articles states: “obsessing with only the biomedical sphere dooms the clinician and patient to failure.”

To discuss this article and see documentation and assessment tips related to OT and CRPS, sign up for the OT Potential Club!

Here’s a glimpse of our discussion:

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L