Pain Disorder & Treatment

Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles

Neurology Specialists located in Santa Monica, CA

It’s estimated that 20% of adults in the United States have chronic pain, with 8% reporting high-impact chronic pain, which means the pain limits their daily activities. Edward J. O’Connor, MD, FAAN, and Russ Shimizu, MD, at Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles specialize in pain disorders and their treatment. They offer cutting-edge interventional therapies that get to the root cause of your pain and deliver effective relief. To learn more about your treatment options, call the office in Santa Monica, California, or book an appointment online today.

Pain Disorder & Treatment Q & A

What are pain disorders?

Pain disorders generally refer to conditions in which your pain becomes chronic, which includes problems ranging from lower back pain and pelvic pain to arthritis and chronic migraines. Pain conditions affect every part of your body and arise from a multitude of causes.

These are only a few examples of painful neurological disorders:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Movement disorders
  • Central pain syndrome
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

The team at Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles treats the full range of pain disorders.

What is causalgia?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic neuropathic pain disorder that’s categorized as CRPS I (pain following a soft tissue or bone injury) and CRPS II (pain following a confirmed nerve injury).

When the condition was first recognized, it was known by two other names. CRPS I was called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, while CRPS II was previously known as causalgia.  

Both types of CRPS most often occur in young adults and usually affect an arm or leg. You’re also two to three times more likely to develop CRPS if you’re a woman.

The pain caused by CRPS I and CRPS II initially begins due to the injury, then persists for at least six months, or well after the injury heals. You’ll develop symptoms such as:

  • Prolonged burning or aching pain
  • Swelling in the affected limb
  • Changes in skin color and temperature
  • Shiny skin
  • Changes in hair growth
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Muscle symptoms

The chronic nerve damage caused by the original injury leads to muscle problems such as poor coordination, limited ability to move the affected limb, abnormal movements, tremors, and jerking. CRPS may also cause dystonia, which is when uncontrollable muscle contractions cause abnormal movements.

How are pain disorders treated?

The doctors at Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles conduct diagnostic and neuroimaging tests as needed to determine the underlying cause of your pain disorder.

Each patient’s treatment is unique to their condition, the severity of their symptoms, and their overall health. These are only a few examples of the interventional therapies that may be part of your treatment plan:

  • Epidural injections: steroids and anesthesia injected to relieve pain
  • Nerve blocks: anesthetics injected to block nerve signals
  • Spinal cord stimulation: mild electrical current blocks or masks nerve signals
  • Infrared photon stimulation: infrared light relieves pain and reduces inflammation
  • Botulinum toxin injections: blocks nerve signals to relax muscles

Patients who suffer from chronic pain can find relief from the doctors at Neurological Associates of West Los Angeles. To schedule an appointment, call the office today or use the online booking feature.