New research has discovered that CRPS patients can feel the pain of others when they observe another person’s movements.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is difficult to diagnose and can last for years, causing constant pain for sufferers. According to NHS Direct, 1 in 3,800 people develop the condition every year, usually after experiencing an injury. As expert CRPS lawyers, we know how little understood CRPS is as a condition. In order to better understand the disease, experts from Aalto University in Finland have carried out breaking research, discovering that something as simple as watching someone make a movement can increase the pain levels of CRPS patients. Continue reading to find out more about the study and its findings.
The study itself involved 13 females who already suffer with upper-limb CRPS as well as 13 healthy subjects who were matched by sex and age to compare. To find the results, functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) were taken to monitor the patient’s reactions and pain levels when watching videos of movements. These images also gave experts the chance to take a look at different areas of the brain to better understand how they reacted to the videos. An example of one of the movements shown was the action of a hand squeezing a ball with extreme force from a first-person perspective.
When observing another person’s movements, researchers found that CRPS patients displayed abnormal patterns within their brains, similar to the patterns of someone who is actually experiencing the pain themselves.
Due to this, the study has found that as a condition, complex regional pain syndrome can affect the brain when it comes to pain processing and motor control as a result of something as simple as observing movement. In fact, CRPS patients could experience higher levels of pain when seeing pain themselves.
Although CRPS is yet to be fully understood as a serious condition, this particular study has been vital in taking steps toward better understanding patients and, with treatment options limited for sufferers, it could even prove useful for producing further treatments in the future. It could even help to develop diagnostics and therapeutic methods for patients.
Researchers however, found it important to stress that their sample size was small and that further investigation would need to be carried out. Plus, some of those involved in the study itself were taking opioid painkillers as medication for the condition.
If you suffer with complex regional pain syndrome as a result of an accident or injury, you may be entitled to crps injury compensation and, as crps lawyers with years of experience under our belts, we can help. To get in touch with our team, call us for free on 0808 123 0003.
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