CRPS is More Than a Pain in the A$$… And Now There’s Hope

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a condition characterized by prolonged or excessive pain together with changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected area that can be either mild or dramatic.

For some people, CRPS can be a chronic condition that causes debilitating pain in the arms, legs, hands, and feet. Most people in the United States are familiar with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

What they may NOT know is that more people are affected by chronic pain than by all three of those diseases COMBINED.

Back in November, my colleague Winnie Nash wrote about a potential infusion for people suffering from CRPS. Well, now there’s another option to help treat CRPS. And unlike the infusion, this one is a medical device: the St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator System.

The Axium (as I’ll call it, because that’s a LONG name), is designed to help treat pain in the legs and feet by stimulating the dorsal root ganglion, or DRG. The DRG is connected to the spinal cord and an incredibly dense area of nerves. When healthcare professionals stimulate the DRG, the Axium allows them to treat specific areas of the body. Following its FDA approval on February 17th, the Axium is expected to be available for use within the next couple of months.

The Axium may not be a cure for CRPS, but I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

James Ernest Cassady

James Ernest Cassady

Though "Ernest" is a family name that's been passed down for generations, James truly earned his middle moniker when, at the age of five, he told his mother that "laughing is stupid unless EVERYBODY is happy." Since then, the serious little bastard has been on a mission to highlight the world's shortcomings (and hopefully correct them). In addition to his volunteer work at hospitals and animal shelters, James also enjoys documentaries and the work of William Faulkner. He is originally from Oklahoma.

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