Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also known as complex regional pain syndrome, is a rare disorder of the nervous system that is identified by chronic, severe pain. The sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system that helps regulate involuntary functions of the body like increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Abnormal responses of portions of the sympathetic nervous system are thought be responsible for the pain associated with RSD.

The symptoms of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) commonly affect an arm and/or shoulder, and sometimes a leg and/or hip. Symptoms can be slow to develop, but in some cases, pain appears suddenly.

Treatment options for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) include physical therapy, whirlpool or paraffin wax baths, ice or heat applications or a special device known as a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS).