Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Treatment With Pain Doctor San Diego

What is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)?

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a condition that is characterized by a group of typical symptoms, including pain, tenderness, as well as a swelling associated with varying degrees of warmth and coolness, shiny skin, sweating, flushing, and discoloration. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is also referred to as, the shoulder-hand syndrome or complex regional pain syndrome. It is a term used to describe a form of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). There are two types of CRPS, Type I and II. Both of these conditions result in chronic pain; however, the main cause of pain is much different. Type I CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), is initiated by an injury in the tissue where there is no nerve injury, while Type II CRPS refers to the incidences where a high-velocity impact such as that from a bullet wound is associated with nerve injury.

What are the Causes of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)/CPRS?

Pain Clinics San DiegoThe major cause of RSD is not known, but the condition is known to occur as a result of malfunctioning of the sympathetic nervous system. The theories behind this include irritation and abnormal excitation of the nervous tissue, resulting to abnormal impulses alongside the nerves that affects the blood vessels and the skin. In most cases, RSD comes after a trauma attack, therefore, some of the conditions that may trigger RSD include; fractures, sprain, damage to the blood vessels or nerves, surgery and certain brain injuries.

What are the Symptoms of RSD/CPRS?

The onset of RSD symptoms may range from rapid to gradual as the condition does not display all the features. There are three stages of RSD together with their symptoms. These are;
Acute Stage: This occurs from three to six months. The patients will experience symptoms such as flushing, sweating, pain, burning sensation, swelling, blanching, and tenderness.
Dystrophic stage occurs from three to six months. The patients experience early skin changes of shiny and contracture with persistent pain.

Atrophic: may be long-lasting. The patient experience loss of motion and function of the part involved (hand or foot) and thinning of the fatty layers under your skin.

How is RSD Diagnosed?

Pain Medication Management San DeigoRSD is diagnosed as per the clinical features seen previously. Sometimes studying images (x-ray, MRI) or nerve conduction tests may be useful. The diagnosis process will be carried out by a San Diego pain clinic. Blood tests may be recommended by a pain doctor San Diego according to the signs and symptoms. Nuclear bone scanning may be used in this process. It will help show characteristic uptake patterns. Overall, diagnosis is thought to help prevent progression of the syndrome.

Is there Treatment for RSD?

Well, there may be no cure for this condition but there is a treatment for such. The objective of the treatment by a pain doctor in San Diego is to help relieve painful symptoms so that the patient can resume their normal activities. Response to treatment of RSD is successful in the earlier stages as compared to the later stages.
The most appropriate treatment include;
• Use of cool and moist applications to the affected areas
• Physical therapy that includes gradual exercises helps relieve contractures
• Medication for pain and inflammation
• Other treatments options include amitriptyline, pregabalin, and clonidine.
• For persistent symptoms, prednisone (cortisone) may be used but in high dosage.
• Treatments such as surgically interrupting the nerves of the nervous system may be used to ease pain.

Remember to keep your pain doctor in San Diego informed of any new symptoms and progress so that they can establish a proper treatment program for you. To learn more about RSD, schedule an appointment with your San Diego pain clinic today.