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Imagined movements cause pain and swelling in a patient with complex regional pain syndrome



The 2023 Global Year aims to raise awareness about integrative pain care and illustrate the knowns and unknowns of this important topic via different initiatives, including a fact sheet series and several webinars.

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G. Lorimer Moseley
University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.


Complex regional pain syndrome type 1 (CRPS1) is characterized by pain, swelling, and sudomotor and motor dysfunction. The affected limb is exquisitely sensitive, and gentle movements can exacerbate symptoms. Local or spinal mechanisms, or both, may mediate symptoms, including pain. Evidence of altered sensorimotor processing suggests that symptoms may also be mediated by cortical mechanisms. This clinical note reports on findings from one patient with CRPS1 in whom imagined movement of the affected limb, without local muscle activity or movement, increased pain and swelling.

See full free text article at Neurology 62 1644

More recently

We went on to discuss this subject systematically and here is the more current paper ‘Thinking about movement hurts’ Arthritis Care & Research 59,5 623-31

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