Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Neurological Disorders Forum

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or MS?

Hi, I have been examined by a neurologist who believes I have Complex Pain Syndrome.

A year ago I had a stress fracture in L foot and about 3 months after that- from wearing a walking boot- I started having extreme shin splints in L inner shin. I rcvd. PT for shin splints, but gained scar tissue from intense massage from PTherapist in L calf. After I stopped PT, shin splints returned in L inner shin and radiating into calf. So severe, could not walk at all.

Orthopedic diagnosed minor tendonitis after x-ray of foot, shin and MRI of lower L leg. I limited weight bearing, crutches for awhile, ice therapy with dixie cups. "Twinging" type pain in inner shin into ankle and calf continued even after long periods of rest. Pain then started bother me behind knee to outer thigh into piriformis muscle into lower back. Then R inner shin started receiving same pain with limited to no walking.

Chiropractor diagnosed me with periostis of leg bone, took additional vitamin D with my other multi-vitamin. Pain persisted. He then diagnosed me with Piriformis syndrome. Did massage and back adjustments. Pain persisted, coldness in foot and leg, discoloration and color pooling in both feet. Tingling sensation in L leg up to lower back. Piercing pain in inner shins sometimes when walking. Dull bone aching pain in both inner shins after standing or walking for an hour or so. Discomfort all the time expecially at end of day while sitting or laying in both shins and feet and all the way up L leg into lower back.

Neurologist diagnosed me with Complex Pain Syndrome and put me on anti-convulsant and anti-depressant with PT.

The drugs worked for a little while, but then stopped. The anti-convulsant seemed to get better blood flow (feet weren't as cold, color pooling stopped.) This only worked for awhile then stopped, pain and tingling twinging feeling persisted. (sometimes if I hold my hand over my shin and wait for it to catch the heart beat and pulse from my hand, the blood starts flowing and my legs and feet warm up...weird right?)

PTherapist is not convinced I have CPS because I have other symptoms such as:

-Muscle convulsions of piriformis muscle
-Piriformis and surrounding muscles all extremely tender
-Any nervous reaction eg. driving and having to hit the breaks, an uncomfortable phone conversation, watching a moving movie, anger over argument etc...intensifies symptoms and can feel my muscles clench all the way up my leg into lower back up my spin into neck and jaw and into L eye.

I dont know if all of these things are related, but in the past 5 years I have been through 4 years of intense stress of a very demanding college career that caused no sleep and allot of hunched over sewing and drawing, standing and ironing (fashion design.) Along with the pressure I put on myself for fitness and running (about 3miles 4x a week-what caused the stress fracture) Followed by a job in NYC that was so intense and stressful, I had to leave. (My left eye started to twitch because I was so clenched and on edge all the time...)

Do you think this is CPS or just nerve damage or something worse like MS. I seem to get tense very easily now. I have had MRI of lower back and no discs are impending a nerve...

Help, I am exhausted and tired and still in pain and discomfort and unable to really continue living a routine lifestyle. Some days the symptoms flare up and then I'll have an almost "normal" day with no pain.
I think I am becoming more anxious and tense because I don't know what this is for sure and no treatment seems to give lasting relief.
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First Helper myfaith
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replied June 4th, 2012
i have had CRPS for about 9 years, I'm 25. I also suffer with muscle twitches and tremors which my neurologist said is due to the CRPS.
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replied July 18th, 2013
Have you tried a Spinal Cord Stimulator? It is the only way I could control the pain without all the side effects from all the drugs. Worth checking out.
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replied June 4th, 2012
i have had CRPS for about 9 years, I'm 25. I also suffer with muscle twitches and tremors which my neurologist said is due to the CRPS.
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replied April 2nd, 2013
CRPS or MS or both????
I have been going through the same symptoms and diagnosed with CRPS. It has gone into all 4 limbs and is extremely painful. It is imperative that you seek psychological treatment. This diseased has abruptly changed my whole life, and I now have severe depression. I broke my foot at work, went misdiagnosed for over a month and a half. MRI showed break. Pain was increasing when it should have been decreasing. I kept telling my ortho about it and he finally sent me to a different ortho doc in the same practice. He also referred me to pain management. PM doc immediately diagnosed CRPS. New ortho doc ordered a new MRI(8 mo after original injury). MRI revealed torn peroneal tendon in ankle that needed to be surgically repaired. I don't think all the screwing around by doctors helped. Since the injury, I periodically would get weird vibration sensations in different parts of my body. In the last couple months, the vibration sensations have been an almost daily occurrence. When I google vibration sensations, everything that comes up is talking about MS. Will be seeing a neuro-surgeon shortly. Praying he can make some sense of this chaos. Just measured for a wheelchair because I fall a lot from pain and weakness in my legs. Either way, I refuse to let any of this hold me back. If I can't ride my mountain bike, I will get Xtreme in my wheelchair. Please keep your head up and stay strong. Don't stop until you find the answers. You know your own body.
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replied May 29th, 2013
CRPS & now MS
I have had CRPS for over 2 years and 1 month ago I was walking in the mall with my wife and daughter and my legs gave out. I went to my Pain Management Dr. and was immediately sent to Hospital to have Spinal Chord Stimulator removed. Then after 4 1/2 hours of MRI I got the results that I have MS. My CRPS was Workers Comp. related and now I have no insurance and even less money. Has anyone ever had CRPS then found out years later that they have MS?
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replied October 27th, 2013
I was diagnosed with MS in 1989. Suffered a cpbad ankle sprain 4 years ago. The sprain "healed" but the pain and intermittent swelling never went away. Pain became a 10 on a 1-10 scale the first year. Finally got a DX of CRPS. Lyrica 300 mg 3 x/ day moderately helpful.
Ironically, after almost 30 years of living with MS, I always remined ambulatory. But if I want to walk further than a fee blocks on hard surfaces, I must use a mobility scooter. CRPS and MS can coexist, but are different. The pain of CRPS is 100 times worse than any pain MS has caused me. I get acupuncture and cranio sacral therapy for pain relief. Each session can help anywhere from a few hours to a few days, opioid pain meds did nothing for the pain and the side effects were horrendous. Loneliness and isolation are most difficult part next to the pain.
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replied July 18th, 2013
Yes Goofyfan the same exact thing happened to me. I'm 30 years old and I got diagnose with corps in march 2011 when my injury happened in January that same year. I've had 3 sympathetic blocks that increased my pain. Physical therapy at least on 10 different occasions. About 12 second opinions. I didn't want the neurostimulator because I didn't understand it enough to go through that type of procedure (and you already know workers comp never wants to pay for anything. In 2012 I noticed a lot of weird things happening to me. I had severe headaches, vertigo, I even passed out because I would feel so over heated. My husband told me something wasn't right and by this time I was scarred to go to the doctors in fear of more bad news. Pulse severe fatigue. To make a long story short, went to ENT and he said it was neurological. Got seen by a neurologist and had every test know to man and Gotten 2 opinions. I have MS!One of the worst moments in my life because we have a 4 year old. So having 2 neurological diseases Is very hard. They deemed me totally disabled at the age of 28. I am so sorry we have to go through this. I wouldn't wish this on anybody so I'm so sorry, and even though I don't know you, God knows you and I will keep you and your family in prayer daily. All I can say is that giving up is not an option. If we can't fight for ourselves. We fight for our family! Please hang in there because you are not alone, and for the 1st time in 3 years you've made me feel much better, not that you are going through this, but you are the only person that understands me and know what we go through. I thought I was alone, but we are fighting the same battle! Thank you for your courage to share your story. Tiffany is my name and thanks again!
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replied July 18th, 2013
Sorry, I just got an injection under my good knee yesterday because they believe my crps is spreading. I'm on meds so I apologize for all the misspelling errors. Well you know when you are taking a lot of meds it messes with your brain. I take copaxone daily for my MS and I go to get my annual brain and brain stem MRI hopefully next week. Praying I'm still in relapse remission!! One test down, a lot more to go lol. I have to smile from crying..you know! Enjoy your day!
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replied May 13th, 2014
CRPS & MS
I find the correlation between CRPS and MS very interesting. It is being looked at now by some professionals. I know a young person who has CRPS and after 6 yrs in remission it has attacked her with a vengeance. My prayers for healing go out to all of you. As much as we would like to "share your pain", it's impossible. I can't even imagine what you are going through. I found the McGill Pain Index interesting. I will keep you all in my prayers. If you haven't already read this, you might find it interesting. Dr. H. Hooshmand, M. D., has an International Referral Center dedicated to Treatment, Education and Research. You might want to contact him.
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