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Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS)

AMPS program offered at PMC

Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS) is a medical condition in which an individual develops an abnormal pain reflex.  This overactive reflex causes constriction of blood vessels which deprives oxygen to muscles, bones and skin causing lactic acid build-up. In turn, a mild pain signal is amplified into a very painful signal. The pain can be consistent or intermittent.

Often children with AMPS will also have allodynia, which is pain caused by a stimulus that normally should not be painful such as light touch. Other symptoms may include: pain in one or multiple limbs, whole body, abdomen, and /or headaches; skin temperature changes; skin color changes (blue, purple, red); swelling of the affected extremity; vascular changes; and/or conversions.

AMPS is an umbrella term for several pain disorders including but not limited to complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, neuropathic pain, psychogenic pain, reflex neurovascular dystrophy  (RND), and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).

There are three main causes that may lead to the development of AMPS: stress, illness and injuries.  Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome is difficult and frustrating for those diagnosed with the condition. Children with AMPS limit their participation in activities to the point where they may quit sports, school, and social activities. These children have usually been to multiple health care practitioners and have had numerous imaging tests. Children with AMPS have usually tried these treatments without relief of their pain: medications, injections, traditional outpatient physical or occupational therapy, surgery, chiropractic care, alternative medicine, and other treatments.

Successful treatment of AMPS involves therapeutic exercises to retain the nerves and a comprehensive treatment program to restore function. Prior to entry to the program all pain medication is discontinued. The AMPS program is an intense 7-hour/day outpatient program including physical and occupational therapy of aquatic and land-based exercises, desensitization activities, reintegration activities, self-regulation and relaxation techniques. Mental health also plays a big part in the multi-faceted program. 

 

Facilities that treat AMPS are limited to a handful across the nation.  Patients who meet the criteria for acceptance into the outpatient AMPS hospital program are referred by physicians who have diagnosed the child with AMPS  and have determined that the child would benefit from this treatment option.

The AMPS treatment program at Providence Medical Center serves the Nebraska region and surrounding states, and includes a multidisciplinary approach. Team members include a physician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, mental health practitioner, and a personal trainer.

The goal of the AMPS program is to return the child to his/her prior functional level at school, in sports, and in leisure activities. The program addresses individualized and comprehensive physical and occupational therapy to a specialty population of children suffering with pain. PMC is helping children who are suffering from Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome!

If you have questions or are interested in more information about the AMPS program, please contact the Providence Therapy Department at 402-375-7937.

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