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Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2015 Aug;26(3):563-72. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2015.04.006.

Work-Related Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Diagnosis and Treatment.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of WA, 1410 NE Campus Parkway, WA 98195, USA; Virginia Mason Medical Center, 1100 9th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98111, USA. Electronic address:


Complex regional pain syndrome can be a debilitating disorder, which, in its earliest stages, can be prevented by aggressive rehabilitation based on reactivation. It is critical to follow international criteria on making the diagnosis; overdiagnosis can lead to inappropriate interventions and further disability. When present, early recognition with reactivation is the cornerstone of treatment. This article presents a phased approach to treatment that suggests movements of nonresponders quickly to more integrated levels of care. Some commonly used invasive interventions, such as sympathectomy and spinal cord stimulation, have not been proved effective; these unproven and potentially harmful therapies should be avoided.


Complex regional pain syndrome; Diagnosis; Evidence-based review; RSD; Treatment; Workers compensation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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