Document Type

Case Report


Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science

Degree Name

DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2019


Frey Law, Laura


Background: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a rare, complicated condition that can develop after trauma and is primarily characterized by high pain intensity that is disproportionate to injury expectations. Persistent CRPS symptoms can lead to permanent impairment and disability due to activity avoidance and limb disuse. While interventions such as Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) and Graded Motor Imagery (GMI) are generally supported for use in patients diagnosed with CRPS, there is a gap in the literature regarding the use of these interventions as a means of preventing full CRPS onset in individuals developing signs of the condition. Case Description: The following report describes the case of a patient referred to physical therapy after sustaining a foot crush injury. During the episode of care, the patient began to develop CRPS-like symptoms. Interventions: The purpose of this case report is to highlight the multimodal therapeutic interventions utilized when early symptoms were suggestive of CRPS, with the intention of preventing full CRPS onset. Outcome Measures: The CareConnections Functional Index, Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia, and Pain Catastrophizing Scale were used to measure the patient’s pain intensity, function, global rating of change, pain-related fear of movement, and negative feelings regarding pain. Discussion: While early treatment of CRPS is crucial in reducing the likelihood of permanent impairment and disability, this case suggests that utilization of CRPS interventions with CRPS-like symptoms prior to an official diagnosis may be too early and therefore not effective at preventing the disease course.


Physical Therapy; Rehabilitation; Crush injury; Complex Regional Pain Syndrome; Pain Neuroscience Education; Graded Motor Imagery


14 pages


Copyright © 2019 Jenna Opdahl