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Treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Functional Restoration

Norman Harden, R. MD; Swan, Melanie OTR/L; King, Amie RPT; Costa, Brienne CTRS; Barthel, Jennifer MS/CRC

The Clinical Journal of Pain: June 2006 - Volume 22 - Issue 5 - p 420-424
doi: 10.1097/01.ajp.0000194280.74379.48
Special Topic Series Management of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

In this review, the authors discuss the development of consensus-based treatment guidelines in 1997. They also synthesize the recommendations of a closed workshop held in Budapest in late 2004 that reexamined these treatment guidelines and made further and more detailed recommendations. They explore and develop the rationale for making functional restoration the pivotal treatment algorithm in the management of complex regional pain syndrome, around which all other treatments, such as psychotherapy, drugs, and interventions, revolve. The authors discuss in detail the process of functional restoration and the modalities appropriate to accomplishing that—specifically, the role of the occupational therapist, physical therapist, recreational therapist, and vocational rehabilitation specialist. Medications, interventions, and psychotherapy will be covered in other sections of this series.

Center for Pain Studies, Chicago, IL

Reprints: R. Norman Harden, MD, 446 E. Ontario St., Center for Pain Studies, Suite 1011, Chicago, IL 60610 (e-mail:

Received for publication July 25, 2005; accepted July 25, 2005

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.