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Clinical Research

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Our CRPS/RSD Research Program

rsdDr. Hanna has established a cutting edge research program with strong focus on the use of intravenous ketamine to manage chronic pain conditions that are not fully responsive to conventional pain therapies.

Our research department pushes our clinics to the forefront of a rapidly advancing field by adhering to the high standards and vigor of the scientific method. We are continually studying and identifying new and better treatment options for our patients’ pain. We not only employ the latest clinically-proven pain management techniques, but also actively define the discipline’s future. Through research and publication, our physicians not only benefit from these research studies, but also share their knowledge in major medical journals. Those journals often aid in medical advancement, and are consistently used for the benefit of other physicians and specialists.

What research is currently being done on CRPS?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the primary Federal supporter of research on the brain and central nervous system. Other NIH institutes also support research on CRPS and other painful conditions.

NINDS-supported scientists are studying new approaches to treat CRPS and to intervene more aggressively to limit the symptoms and disability associated with the syndrome.

Previous research has shown that CRPS-related inflammation is supported by the body’s natural immune response. Researchers hope to better understand how CRPS develops by studying immune system activation and peripheral nerve signaling using an animal model of the disorder. The animal model was developed to mimic certain CRPS-like features following fracture or limb surgery, by activating certain molecules involved in the immune system process.

Limb trauma, such as a fracture and then having the limb placed in a cast, is a common cause of CRPS. By studying an animal model, researchers hope to better understand the neuroinflammatory basis of CRPS and to identify the relevant inflammatory signaling pathways that lead to the development of post-traumatic CRPS. They also will examine inflammatory effects of cast immobilization and exercise on the development of pain behaviors and CRPS symptoms.

Peripheral nerve injury and subsequent regeneration often lead to a variety of sensory deficits. Researchers hope to identify specific cellular and molecular changes in sensory neurons following peripheral nerve injury to better understand the processes that underlie neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to reorganize or form new nerve connections and pathways following injury or death of nerve cells). Identifying these mechanisms could provide targets for new drug therapies that could improve recovery following regeneration.

Children and adolescents with CRPS generally have a better recovery than adults and offer a unique model for the study of chronic pain reversal. Scientists studying children with CRPS are investigating neuroplasticity and the biological processes that cause CRPS to occur, in the hopes of developing more effective therapies and accelerated recoveries for adults and children.

  •  Where can I get more information?For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network (BRAIN) at:BRAIN
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD 20824
    (800) 352-9424

CRPS/RSD Treatment News


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    Surgeons are using a fluorescent dye that makes cancerous cells glow in hopes of identifying suspicious lymph nodes during head and neck cancer procedures. The study is among the first in the world to look at the effectiveness of intraoperative molecular imaging (IMI) of lymph nodes in patients with head and neck cancer.
  • Does your back feel stiff? Well, it may not actually be stiff, study finds September 26, 2017
    The feeling of stiffness in your back may mean something else is going, warns a new report.
  • Chronic migraine cases are amplified by jawbone disorder September 24, 2017
    A new study shows patients with chronic migraine are three times as likely to suffer from severe temporomandibular disorder. Though not a primary cause, the disorder is thought to accentuate and perpetuate sensitivity to pain; therefore, researchers recommend in chronic migraine clinical practice the assessment of the disorder's symptoms.
  • Football helmet smartfoam signals potential concussions in real time, study suggests September 21, 2017
    While football-related concussions have been top of mind in recent years, people have struggled to create technology to accurately measure them in real time. Engineers have now developed and tested a nano composite smartfoam that can be placed inside a football helmet (and pads) to more accurately test the impact and power of hits.
  • Millennials prefer healthy habits, less likely to choose opioids to manage pain August 30, 2017
    Often spending their days hunched over phones, tablets or computers and their free time at spin class or playing sports, millennials are the next generation poised to experience chronic pain. Even at their young age, millennials say acute and chronic pain are already interfering with their quality of life.
  • Early rotator cuff surgery yields good long-term outcomes August 17, 2017
    Early surgery to repair tears of one of the shoulder rotator cuff muscles provides lasting improvement in strength, function, and other outcomes, reports a study.
  • Evidence does not support the use of gabapentinoids for chronic low back pain August 15, 2017
    Existing evidence on the use of gabapentinoids in chronic low back pain (CLBP) is limited, and demonstrates significant risk of adverse effects with no benefits on pain relief, according to a recent meta-analysis.
  • Smart underwear proven to prevent back stress with just a tap August 1, 2017
    Unlike other back-saving devices, this one is mechanized and was tested with motion capture, force plates and electromyography.
  • Study: Yoga helps back pain among veterans July 25, 2017
    Those who completed a 12-week yoga program had better scores on a disability questionnaire, improved pain intensity scores, and a decline in opioid use, a study that included 150 veterans with chronic low back pain found. The findings jibe with those from two past clinical trials involving non-veterans.
  • Patients with irreparable rotator cuff tears may have surgical option July 22, 2017
    The arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (SCR) surgical technique can offer patients with irreparable rotator cuff repairs the opportunity to return to sports and jobs that require heavy physical work.
  • Risk factors identified for elbow and shoulder injuries in professional baseball pitchers July 20, 2017
    Increasing numbers of elbow-related injuries in professional baseball pitchers has led to research studying risk factors, especially those that can be modified and adjusted to help prevent lost playing time. Decreased shoulder flexion and external rotation were identified as key predictors of injuries to pitchers during the season, according to a study.
  • JFK's back problems: A new look July 11, 2017
    JFK promoted an image of himself as a young, healthy, strong-bodied man. But this image belies the truth: that Kennedy's life was plagued by illnesses and he required strong medication to perform his tasks as president. A new paper sheds light on JFK's back problems and how they affected his life.
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    Nearly one in three competitive athletes experiences low back pain. According to a literature review, lower (lumbar) back pain is a commonly reported symptom among the general population; however, low back pain among elite athletes who play varsity or professional sports requires additional important considerations.
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    Treatment of chronic low back pain with radiofrequency denervation, a procedure that can be performed with different techniques including the application of an electric current to the pain-conducting nerve, resulted in either no improvement or no clinically important improvement in chronic low back pain, according to a study.
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    Yoga causes musculoskeletal pain in 10 percent of people and exacerbates 21 percent of existing injuries, research shows. The findings come from the first prospective study to investigate injuries caused from recreational participation in yoga. The injury rate is up to 10 times higher than has previously been reported.
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    Patients with low back pain who were depressed were more likely to be prescribed opioids and receive higher doses, research has found. Understanding these prescribing patterns sheds new light on the current opioid epidemic and may help determine whether efforts to control prescription opioid abuse are effective.
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    Researchers detail a molecule that acts as a molecular pilot light required to turn on the brown fat furnace. Brown fat burns sugar and fat to produce radiant heat in the body. These cells are of interest because some of the sugar and fat they burn is stored in the body and might otherwise lead […]
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    In postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, 12 months treatment with romosozumab was associated with rapid and large reductions in their risk of a vertebral fracture compared to placebo, research shows.
  • Study looks at needles in treatment for shoulder pain June 14, 2017
    According to a new study, the type of procedure used to treat shoulder calcifications should be tailored to the type of calcification. The results of the study will help interventional radiologists determine whether to use one or two needles for an ultrasound-guided treatment for a common condition called rotator cuff calcific tendinopathy.
  • Obesity increases risk of complications after shoulder joint replacement surgery June 8, 2017
    For patients undergoing shoulder joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty), higher body mass index is linked to increased complications -- including the need for 'revision' surgery, reports a new study.