Warning: Physiotherapy will often not directly reduce the patient’s pain (possible exceptions in early CRPS: mirror visual feedback, graded motor imagery); in early CRPS, good physiotherapy that achieves better limb function will indirectly reduce pain, in many (but not all) patients.

Assessment: Ask ‘how much pain have you had on average over the past 24h’, with 0=’no pain’, 10=’pain as bad as I can imagine’. What makes your pain worse/better?

Top Tip: Patients may be offered simple analgesics by their doctor, tricyclic antidepressants for sleep, and gabapentin or pregabalin, but often these drugs are not very effective; strong opioids are rarely appropriate. The patient’s doctor should re-assess frequently – if a drug does not work, then stop.