How to Decide On RSD Treatment Options

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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), is a chronic pain, neurological syndrome. RSD is a malfunction of the central nervous systems, which causes pain and additional symptoms including severe burning pain, excessive sweating ,tissue swelling, sensitivity to touch, and changes in color and temperature of the skin.

This condition is often the result of trauma or surgery. In 1864, Mitchell referred to this malady as causalgia, a Greek word meaning burning pain. Newer taxonomy refers to RSD as a a condition which may develop after an initiating event such as trauma or surgery or may occur spontaneously.

There are two major ways to execute a treatment for RSD, including sympathetic blockade and anti inflammatory therapy. Sympathetic block is an injection of a local anesthetic into the stellate and upper dorsal sympathetic ganglia to block the efferent sympathetic impulses from the involved extremity. This procedure warms the skin, inhibits sweating, and causes flushing.

Symptoms usually dissipate within 30 minutes, confirming the diagnosis. Once the patient is adequately blocked, the benefits may last several days. Use 1 to 2 blocks per week. An average of 4 to 5 blocks is required to permanently relieve symptoms.

The anti inflammatory treatment for RSD is a bit more straight forward, and only involves using anti inflammatory drugs. While the anti inflammatory RSD treatments will not help with skin color or change, it will dramatically decrease swelling, pain, and other inflammations. This method is similar to chronic lyme disease treatment and is more widely used than the other treatments for RSD.

Another treatment for RSD is the use of hyperbaric oxygen treatments, however the hyperbaric oxygen therapy cost tends to be much higher than the sympathetic blockade or anti inflammatory treatments. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments involve exposing the body to 100 percent oxygen at a pressure that is greater than what you normally experience. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments allows wounds to heal properly, and exposing a wound to 100 percent oxygen can, in many cases, speed the healing process.

There are several treatment for RSD options for you or a loved one to help you to deal with RSD, so selecting which one works for you is based on both your bodies’ response, and your budgets, so extra research may be the difference between an effective and infective treatment. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments, though more costly, have a high rate of success, so do not give up hope.
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