Complex Regional Pain Syndrome — Type I - OT303

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome — Type I

by Paul Arnstein, RN, PhD, FAAN
(4.3 / 444 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Occupational Therapy (0.10 AOTA CEU)

Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50


Complex regional pain syndrome is a perplexing condition characterized by unabated tissue and neurogenic inflammation that amplifies pain in a body region along with sensorimotor, vasomotor, or sudomotor changes after an illness or injury. Healthcare professionals are in key positions to identify these patients soon after its onset when the condition is most effectively treated. Early diagnosis is based on the patient’s history and clinical presentation, and requires a thorough multisystem assessment. After ruling out differential diagnoses, targeted therapy can begin. Motivating patients to move despite severe pain is essential. Failure to do so accelerates the disease progression and contributes to debilitating complications. This course reviews the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and complications of CRPS type 1 that severely impact biopsychosocial functioning.


The goal of this continuing education module is to familiarize healthcare providers with the current understanding of complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic pain condition characterized by prolonged, excessive pain and changes in skin color, temperature, or swelling in the affected area. Of the subtypes, CRPS type 1 is distinguished from CRPS type 2 in that no nerve lesion or anomaly on routine testing is found, and excessive pain is not explained by the mechanism of injury. Thus, patients with CRPS-1 may be misdiagnosed, labeled, or untreated. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • Describe the diagnostic criteria for CRPS-1
  • Develop an integrated interdisciplinary treatment plan for a patient with CRPS-1
  • List three ways healthcare professionals can improve the quality of life for patients with CRPS-1
Content Level: Introductory
Instructional Method: Online Course — Narrative
Content Focus Domain of OT: Client Factors
Occupational Therapy Process: Evaluation

Accreditation Information
This course is intended for multiple professions, including nurses, occupational therapists physical therapists, and physicians.
Occupational Therapists: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at and search for this topic title.
Relias LLC, is an approved provider of continuing education for occupational therapists by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Provider #4000. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.
OnCourse Learning is also accredited by the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy (provider # FBN 50-1489).

Course Originally Released on: 9/20/2010
Date of Most Recent Review: 12/19/2017
Course Termination/Update Date: 12/19/2020

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. Relias LLC guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.


For Florida professionals:

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Jennifer W - Battle Creek , MI  ·  Apr 27, 2020
It was a good review of CRPS. I would like to see a course focused more on the therapeutic interventions and outcomes in PT/OT as this is my field of practice.
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Dawn S - Bismarck , ND  ·  Apr 23, 2020
I haven't had much experience with treating/ dealing with CRPS so this was a very nice introduction for me on some of the background of the syndrome.
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Scott B - Dubuque, IA  ·  Apr 08, 2020
good info with pertinent clinical application
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Michelle W - Fenton , MI  ·  Feb 23, 2020
It was informative and the case study was helpful.
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Willie A - Fort Worth, TX  ·  Feb 10, 2020
good course on complex regional pain syndrome. didn't know about different medications used to help treat CRPS
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Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50