RSD stands for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. It is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). RSD is usually traumatically-induced and is usually classified as a nerve disorder (the injury will cause an overreaction of the nervous system. RSD is always painful, and is sometimes referred to as the burning disease. It typically affects the arms or legs and is marked by a severe burning sensation – or just very painful to the touch. Typically, some of the symptoms include: skin becoming swollen, shiny or turn blue; sometimes the RSD sufferer’s nails will become brittle.
It is very important: if you are diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, that you find a doctor who specializes in RSD, because very few are familiar with the disease. Furthermore, it is important to begin treating RSD as soon as possible because it is a condition that gets worse and can spread if nothing is done. Currently there is no cure – but with early and aggressive treatment: pain can be minimized and the disease can be contained (i.e. keep it from spreading to other body parts).
Teenagers and younger typically have the best prognosis and recovery time. Older adults are more likely to be afflicted with severe pain and suffer irreversible damage.
RSD treatments always include rehabilitative exercises. It is thought that improving blood flow will improve the circulatory issues that often result. Improving strength and flexibility – to the RSD-affected area – can also restore some of the disabling effects of RSD/CRPS. Steroids are often prescribed, especially when first diagnosed, to treat the swelling and inflammation that those with RSD often experience. Anti-seizure and anti-depressants have been known to reduce the effects of neurolopathic pain and, along with botox, and pain meds may be utilized to alleviate RSD symptoms. Those with severe symptoms may require nerve blocks, drug pumps, and/or spinal stimulators to control the RSD pain.