December 3, 2013 | 10:27am ESTFull Size Image
Alexandra Annaloro suffers in pain, her foot seizes and shakes uncontrollably. She suffers from a mysterious syndrome called CRPS, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. She is battling excruciating pain deep in her nerves, striking like stabbing bolts of electricity.
She told INSIDE EDITION, "It's painful when it shakes and it's painful throughout every day. I could be sitting, pain in my hip, pain in my arm."
Her sister and boyfriend try to ease her agony by rubbing her leg but something as slight as a breeze can set off unbearable pain.
Doctors believe a car accident triggered her condition. Incredibly, her leg was not hurt in the crash but several months later, it suddenly turned purple and cold.
Unfortunately, INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret is all too familiar with this rare condition because his 16-year-old son, Matthew, has been living with this nightmare for five years.
Watch The Full Segment On CRPS
Matthew said, "Imagine a Boa constrictor is going around your leg while someone is trying to stab your leg from the inside out while it's on fire."
Matthew's condition started when he was 11 and injured his foot during a soccer game. Doctors put his foot in a cast for what they thought was a fracture. Unbeknownst to them, he actually had CRPS.
During our interview, Matthew's foot fell asleep and just to shake it awake causes terrible pain.
Matthew's pain is so bad he is often bedridden. He misses school for months at a time and has been home schooled because his symptoms inexplicably come and go.
CRPS sufferers often look perfectly healthy, leading to another frustration.
Jim Moret asked his son, "Do you ever feel like people don't believe you?"
"I feel that quite often," said Matthew.
Dr. Elliot Krane is a leading expert in spotting and treating CRPS as Director of the Pain Management Program at Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, California. He is one of Matthew's many doctors.
Dr. Krane said, "It's not imagined. It's a very real condition."
Medication helps Matthew get through each day because there is no definitive cure.
Dr. Krane said, "The pain is relentless. Its 24 hours-a-day. They can't sleep at night."
Watch Dr. Krane Discuss More About CRPS
Matthew's treatment also includes exercises like mirror therapy in which the healthy foot moves in front of the mirror and the brain is tricked into seeing both limbs moving pain free. It helps to rewire the nervous system.
Jim Moret said, "My son also remains determined and optimistic that he will beat this disease."
"I sure will, there's no question in my mind," said Matthew.
For more information about how to help anyone affected by CRPS/RSD, please visit The Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDSA).