Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

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RSD is a chronic condition that affects mostly the extremities and causes severe burning sensation or pain in the affected limb. Sometimes it is referred to as Type 1 CRPS, because it is usually induced by tissue injury, simultaneously affecting the nerves, muscles, bones, skin, and blood vessels. You’ll start to experience excessive sweating, allodynia (referring to sensitivity to touch), swelling of the tissues and even pathological changes in bone and skin.

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What Causes RSD?

The main cause of RSD has not yet been identified, despite the condition being documented for over a century.

Some researchers have attributed RSD to a breakdown in the functioning of the body’s sympathetic nervous system, although this theory is yet to be confirmed.

But since the condition often arises following trauma to the body/limbs, the following are some of the possible triggers of RSD:

  • Fractures
  • Brain injuries
  • Sprains
  • Surgery
  • Nerve damage

If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, then it’s likely that you’re suffering from RSD. It is important to consult your physician for an early diagnosis so as to prevent the syndrome from progressing. Even though a cure for the condition is yet to be developed, there are treatment regimens that have proven effective in treating it, such as physical therapy. Not to worry though, cause with effective treatment, you can experience significant symptom remissions.


What Are The Symptoms Of RSD?

If you have chronic pain that’s unusually severe and gets worse over time, it may be a sign of RSD. This condition more often than not affects the legs, arms, hands or feet, and that’s not all; it is usually accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Extreme touch sensitivity
  • Excessive sweating and changes in skin color and texture
  • Joint stiffness in the affected limb
  • Burning sensation
  • Decreased motor ability in the affected limb



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