Living with chronic pain takes a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical health. And, unfortunately, it can often be very tricky to treat — especially challenging conditions like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
CRPS typically affects the leg or arm, often following a specific event, like heart attack, surgery, or injury. While it’s not completely understood, one aspect is fairly clear: a combination of treatments and lifestyle changes often provides the most effective pain relief.
Our team at Glaser Pain Relief Center offers the experience and medical interventions you need to manage chronic pain conditions, including CRPS. However, we don’t stop there. We also provide dietary recommendations designed to reduce inflammation and pain symptoms.
Do you have complex regional pain syndrome? Here’s why it’s time to clean up your diet.
This condition typically leads to severe and constant discomfort in the affected limb. Experts believe it may be due to damaged and overly sensitive nerve fibers, which cause pain signals to become more intense. When this occurs, even the lightest touch can cause tremendous pain.
Other signs of CRPS include:
- Changes in skin color, temperature, and texture
- Thin, dry, or withered skin
- Hair that initially increases then fades in the affected area
- Thickened, brittle nails that grow faster or slower than usual
- Increased sweating
- Weakness, tremors, or spasms
It’s also possible for muscles, joints, and skin in the affected area to become so stiff it can’t move.
In most cases, you have greater success treating CRPS when you seek medical care at the earliest sign of symptoms. Treating CRPS takes a combination of medical interventions and lifestyle changes for the best results.
Medical treatments for CRPS often include:
- Physical therapy to avoid tissue deterioration and muscle tightening
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers
- Medications, like antidepressants, anticonvulsants, blood pressure drugs, and bisphosphonates for bone loss
- Topical creams or ointments containing capsaicin
- Targeted injections, like corticosteroid shots and sympathetic nerve blocks
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS)
- Spinal cord stimulation
While these medical approaches are essential to CRPS treatment, adopting a healthy diet is also crucial.
Your diet and CRPS
Believe it or not, dietary makeovers can dramatically affect pain symptoms. That’s because certain foods increase inflammation in the body, triggering pain and chronic diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and even depression.
While the idea of cleaning up your diet can seem overwhelming, our team can offer tips to get you started. Your main goals should include:
- Eating 8-9 servings of vegetables each day, especially broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
- Limiting dairy products
- Avoiding simple carbohydrates with refined sugar and flour
- Choosing whole grains, like oats, quinoa, brown rice, and wheat
You should also significantly reduce the red meat you consume, saving it for special occasions only. Instead, focus on fish or vegetarian main dishes for maximum anti-inflammatory benefits.
In addition to adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, it’s also important to reach and maintain an ideal weight, get plenty of daily exercise, and learn ways to keep stress levels under control.
Not only can these lifestyle changes help with chronic pain, but they also help your body function in peak condition — and it doesn’t come with scary risks or unpleasant side effects.
Do you have CRPS or another chronic pain condition? Contact Glaser Pain Relief Center in Encino, California, to find treatment options today.