General Guideline Principles for Initial Care of Management
of CRPS for workers compensation patients

The New York State workers compensation board has developed these guidelines to help physicians, podiatrists, and other healthcare professionals provide appropriate treatment for Initial Care of Management of CRPS.

These Workers Compensation Board guidelines are intended to assist healthcare professionals in making decisions regarding the appropriate level of care for their patients with ankle and foot disorders.

The guidelines are not a substitute for clinical judgement or professional experience. The ultimate decision regarding care must be made by the patient in consultation with his or her healthcare provider.

Initial Care of Management of CRPS

Interventions for the treatment of pain should generally be time-limited and functionally oriented. People who return to work and daily activities sooner after an injury typically have the best results.

People with comparable diagnoses who have been unemployed for three t hose out for months experience worse return-to-work results than those off for one month, whereas those going for a year fare worse than those gone for six months. Thus, there is a solid foundation for a return to a functioning state, including to work, as soon as possible.

As previously mentioned, (see Medical History), the examination or consultation for a new client with CRPS should include the identification of psychosocial concerns. Some of these problems include present or previous mental health problems, problems with family, friends, and coworkers relationships with supervisors and their support, and problems with drugs.

At-risk patients will typically be identified through a thorough history and physical, at which point a referral to a therapist or pain specialist can be considered. It is frequently appropriate to refer a patient to a psychologist or psychiatrist with experience in pain evaluation.

Particularly when the patient’s pain is poorly defined, cannot be adequately explained by anatomical or physiological abnormalities, is associated with more disability than would be anticipated based on objective findings, or is accompanied by depression or anxiety.

Whether a multidisciplinary strategy should be implemented in the initial management of the CRPS patient to reduce disability and maximize function is another factor to consider. Later in this document, this is discussed.

A summary or overview of the treatment approach is provided below.

  • Identify the causes of nociceptors or neuropathy that can be treated (for example, aggressive diabetes medication for nerve damage; aggressive rehabilitation activities for CRPS).


  • The goal should be functional restoration when there is no easily treatable pain generator.


  • Individualized treatment plans should take comorbidities and preferences into consideration.


  • Use the appropriate behavioral change or medicine to treat co-morbid mental health disorders.


  • Before implementing alternative options, medications or other therapies that have not demonstrated a demonstrable benefit after a sufficient trial should be stopped. Treatments that have some effectiveness should be continued while other options are considered and evaluated for achievable reduction in chronic pain (since partial control is preferable to no control in this population) and keep patients from seeking potentially harmful therapeutic options.

    The effectiveness and side effects of medications should be periodically talked about with the patient and thoroughly recorded in the medical file. The NYS WCB MTG – Complex Regional Chronic Syndrome 32 deprescribing where clinically appropriate should be evaluated by providers on a regular Pain Medical Treatment Guideline)


  • Only if pain relief and improved function will reasonably outweigh potential risks to the patient, and only if this is proven to be the case, can interventions with the risk of severe side consequences be used.Before such procedures, a sufficient trial of conservative care should be conducted.

    Nevertheless, there are circumstances in which careful interventional or pharmaceutical therapy may be preferable to other plans with the potential to lower expenses and pain.

    A variety of therapy and strategies are used to treat CRPS. When creating a therapy plan to meet the patient’s demands, lessen their discomfort, and enhance their function, physical and psychosocial factors should be considered. The patient must engage in the treatment plan, which is most crucial. This frequently necessitates significant and ongoing patient education initiatives.

What our office can do if you have workers compensation Injuries

We have the experience to help you with their workers compensation injuries. We understand what you are going through and will meet your medical needs and follow the guidelines set by the New York State Workers Compensation Board.

We understand the importance of your workers compensation cases. Let us help you navigate through the maze of dealing with the workers compensation insurance company and your employer.

We understand that this is a stressful time for you and your family. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us so we will do everything we can to make it as easy on you as possible.


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