My opinion: you can find a lot of research on CRPS, and some of it has very promising sounding titles, but in my experience, when you look at any of it very closely, these papers have zero practical clinical value. This is the fundamental reason why clinical medicine has essentially zero tools to deal effectively with CRPS: no one is doing effective, practical, usable research on it. The only progress they ever make is the anemic and wrong-minded approach of “blocking” pain, which is based on the assumption that all pain of this sort is anomalous… not really pain … all in your head.
But in my opinion this is really ignorant. The fundamental assumption is incorrect. But because it is usual for researchers to begin with this assumption, they go spiraling off in the wrong direction.
My opinion: CRPS, and virtually all other forms of pain have a real root cause, and it is essential to address this root cause in order to turn OFF the source of pain. It follows therefore that any attempt to simply “block” pain is deeply misguided: it is like putting in ear plugs when you hear a fire alarm. Simply blocking a pain signal when there is a real cause of pain is likely to make the pain get worse over time, as you continue to ignore the warning signal and thereby aggravate the source.
When you look at the clinical course of pain syndromes, this is often what you see:
Block the pain signal, and over time it will get worse.
So, I do not put much stock in the peer-reviewed literature on CRPS, being based as it is on a totally incorrect assumption.
And I am confident that the literature does not contain any “hidden gems” that allow you to easily resolve CRPS, because so many desperate people are combing through this literature every minute of every day, and if there were any real hidden gems, they would not remain hidden for very long.
In my experience, the best way to deal with CRPS starts with nutrition and supplements (D3, K2, Omega 3), but then is greatly aided by PEMF, which data indicates clearly has the effect of reducing pathologic swelling and inflammation, allowing the normal healing processes to resume.
My hypothesis: PEMF reduces inflammation in such a way that tissue healing is facilitated, returns to normal, and thereby reduces pain at the source. But, when properly applied, PEMF does not “block” pain.
In my experience, CRPS is among the most challenging: PEMF needs to be applied daily for several hours, for a period of several weeks. But many people report to me that they have had excellent results when they do this, and I myself have a lot of experience using this approach and have resolved several cases of CRPS for myself. Once you get good at this, and start PEMF as soon as you suspect CRPS is beginning to build up, you can get very skilled and effective at managing your CRPS.
Basic approach: Treat both the area experiencing CRPS and the source, which is often an older injury that eventually leads to CRPS, radiating off in directions away from the initial injury. In your case, you have a clear picture of the exact location of the initial injury. Treat it 2 to 8 hours per day. I do this at bed time. There are no “special secret frequencies”. Just use one of our default pulse patterns: Omni8, Alpha Wave, B5-C5, for example. Try each for a few days to see what works best for you.
Do not think it is necessary to use maximum intensity, start around the default setting of 9 (out of 15).
CRPS is one of the few cases where I do think larger pads can be very helpful. We make these for the model C5 for this reason.
The course of management will look like this:
First week or two: no real benefit is evident… but keep at it daily
In about 2-3 weeks, you will suddenly notice a real benefit, and the pain often quickly disappears thereafter.
This is what I have experienced my self every time, and what people report to me at least 80% of the time.
Can I prove it? No. The word “prove” has a very strict scientific meaning, and strictly by that definition, I can not and will not try to prove anything.
Keep in mind: the FDA accepted as “proven” that oxycodone was “safe, effective, and non-habit forming”. In reality, it is none of these. When people make claims of “proof”, I become more skeptical.
Does ICES-PEMF work for CRPS? You would have to try for yourself. People respond differently, but in general we get 80-99% positive reports for pain-related issues.
That’s the best advice I can give you.