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Airing Pain 95: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 2 of 2

In the second part in Airing Pain’s series on complex regional pain syndrome, Paul speaks to specialists and patients at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease CRPS rehabilitation programme in Bath

This programme was funded by grants from RS Macdonald Charitable Trust and the Hospital Saturday Fund.

Complex regional pain syndrome affects 1 in 3,800 new people every year in the UK.[1] It is a poorly understood condition and it can be frustrating for patients who are suffering to find peace of mind. The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease in Bath began its rehabilitation service for individuals with CRPS in 1999 and is one of the very few in the UK with outpatient and inpatient care dedicated to CRPS.

The centre, led by Professor Candy McCabe, strives to improve patients’ lives through up-to-date multidisciplinary techniques ranging from occupational therapy to mirror visual feedback (MVF).

Michael and Julie, patients currently enrolled in the rehabilitation programme, speak to Paul about the injuries that caused them to develop the syndrome, how it affects their lives, and how the programme is helping them cope.

Paul also sits in on a session with Senior Physiotherapist Emma Houlihan and patient Chris, whose entire left side of his body has been affected by CRPS, to explore the therapies used at the centre to try to help him regain normal sensation.

Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist Jane Hall describes the process that new patients will go through, and how the centre helps patients even after they have left the programme.

Issues covered in this programme include: CRPS: complex regional pain syndrome accident, visual feedback, mirror therapy, chronic primary pain, post-surgical pain, occupational therapy, psychology, rehabilitation, relaxation, Rheumatic Disease and sleep.


  • Professor Candy McCabe, Clinical Lead for the complex regional pain syndrome service.
  • Emma Houlian, Senior Physiotherapist
  • Charlie Ewer-Smith, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist
  • Dr Jane Hall, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist
  • Keri Johnson, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist
  • Chris, patient in the rehabilitation programme
  • Michael, patient in the rehabilitation programme
  • Julie, patient in the rehabilitation programme.

More information:

[1] NHS:

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