By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) – Adults who take part in strenuous or athletic activities, especially as they get older, invite a combination of reward and risk. According to a report from the American College of Sports Medicine, athletics can lead to improved heart and lung function, a decrease in the loss of muscle mass associated with aging and an overall increase in lifespan. But participating in sports such as tennis or running—or even yoga and spinning—can put “weekend warriors” at risk for injury.
When risk ends up outweighing reward and injuries happen, how can that be effectively assessed and treated? Is one more spin class that big of a deal or is a proper evaluation needed for every bump and bruise? According to the Physical Activity Council, 48 percent of Gen X, or those who tend to be in their late 30s to early 50s, participated in a fitness activity at least once a week in 2015. However, according to Psychiatric Times, those who work out irregularly or consider themselves “weekend warriors” are not typically conditioned for strenuous activity, which can lead to injury during their recreational activities. These types of injuries can happen easily—like falling off a bike or while on rollerblades with an arm outstretched. It could also be something as simple as an ankle injury from tripping on gym equipment like a treadmill or stair machine, or flipping on a skateboard, skis or snowboard.
Depending on the severity of a sports-related injury, pain can range from a light pinch to excruciating agony. However, what happens when the pain of an injury doesn’t go away? While a diagnosis may have said “sprained ankle” or “fractured wrist,” sometimes the pain doesn’t match the injury. Many times, an increased, constant and intense level of pain is caused by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), CRPS can be triggered by previous traumas or injuries such as fractures, sprains/strains, surgery, soft tissue injury, etc.—the kind that can come from sports.
“Listening to body signals is critical when facing an injury,” says Randall Kaye, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. “Pain indicates that something is wrong. But it’s vital for someone to use their gut instinct—if the pain seems way out of proportion or is more intense than the initial injury, it’s really important to have it checked out. Pain from sports injuries is usually acute and sudden. So if the pain is getting worse—maybe a burning or squeezing pain, or pins-and-needles, or a pain so intense that even a light touch, like from wearing clothes, is excruciating—it might be something more serious. In fact, if someone has had surgery on a sports-related injury and the pain isn’t going away despite healing—even if it has been only a month or two—he or she should consult with a pain specialist or seek additional medical advice because there is a possibility it could be CRPS.”
The pain associated with CRPS is considered the most extreme form of chronic pain. Symptoms can include the same sensations described above: burning and squeezing, pins and needles and pain so intense that a light touch is unbearable. According to NINDS, the average age of those affected is 40 years, so paying extra attention to sports injuries with age is critical. However, more research is needed to understand the causes of CRPS and why it affects certain people more than others. Without a clear understanding of why this syndrome affects specific individuals, it can be more difficult to diagnose and treat. Interestingly, in more than 90 percent of cases, the condition is triggered by a clear history of trauma or injury.
According to NINDS, no medication specifically for CRPS is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, a treatment currently in clinical trials could be a game-changer. Axsome Therapeutics is developing a medication called AXS-02, which is an oral, non-opioid treatment for CRPS that has been granted Fast Track and Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA. AXS-02 is in Phase 3 clinical trials and is being used in a medical research study (the CREATE-1 Study) conducted in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia.
If the symptoms of CRPS sound familiar, or if they sound familiar to a loved one, or if someone has been diagnosed with CRPS within the past six months, this study could be an option for them. Visit www.crpstrial.com to learn more.