Complex regional pain syndrome: Practical diagnostic and treatment guidelines


This article is the MOST CITED article containing OT from the past 5 years!


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Number of times cited in other articles: 175
Journal: Pain Medicine

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.”

What information/stories about working with clients with CRPS would you like to share with fellow OTs?

(I’m especially interested in what assessments you might use or what goals you might set…)