Mobility may also be reduced, as patients find it hard to move the affected part.
Stages of progression of CRPS
CRPS generally progresses in 3 stages, but not everyone will experience all three stages.
Stage 1 typically lasts from 1 to 3 months. There is a severe, burning pain in one of the limbs. There may be muscle spasms, or involuntary muscle contractions, joint stiffness, and fast-growing hair and nails. Skin color and temperature may change as blood vessels become affected.
Stage 2 usually lasts for 3 to 6 months. Pain, inflammation, and stiffness may worsen, and changes in skin texture and color become greater. Muscle tone may weaken.
By Stage 3, the changes that have happened may be irreversible. There will be significant loss of muscle tone, bones may be contorted, and the joints have become stiffer. It may be hard to use the affected limb.
Early treatment for CRPS should prevent it from reaching Stage 3.