A Clinician's Perspective
Tim Beames- Physiotherapist and Pain Specialist with Pain and Performance and the Neuro Orthopaedic Institue
Research, although incredibly valuable is extremely slow to reveal greater insight into what CRPS really is. This can be incredibly frustrating for the person in pain! What is often more frustrating though is the lack of awareness in the medical community and also amongst family and friends.
As a clinician I see the impact that CRPS has on both the person in pain and their whole family. It is complex and despite the fairly strict diagnostic criteria, is individual to the sufferer. As the condition progresses the main symptoms and the way it impacts on people’s lives varies. This requires flexibility and creativity in treatment approaches.
I’ve learned more from the people that I have treated with CRPS than I ever could by reading the research or listening to presentations at conferences and courses (although clearly this is also hugely important). There is a need for the individual to reflect on and re-evaluate their current capabilities and function, which may be supported with guidance from the clinician. Understandably this can be a challenging process and often takes time.
There are a number of treatment strategies that can help and all of them require dedication. A core theme highlighted by Professor Lorimer Moseley is, “patience and persistence”. Change can be slow, particularly the longer that someone has been suffering with CRPS. The positive message that Mary reinforces here is that we all have the ability to change.