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What is RSD/CRPS?
Before reading our "what is RSD/CRPS" is page we ask you to
remember that a large proportion of patients go into spontaneous remission either
with or without treatment and many are never formally diagnosed. The information
on these pages tends to refer to the longer lasting more difficult cases so please
take this into account when reading.
RSD/CRPS may cause extreme pain (some people report only a little pain or discomfort), it may exaggerate normal stimuli such as the touch from clothes, a breeze of wind, a drop of water causing the stimulus to feel excrutiatingly painful; the pain is often reported as burning even if the affected area feels cold to touch. In a number of patients the pain doesn't stop or subside and it can drastically affect the patient, their mood and their ability to cope.
well as pain the condition can cause other symtptoms, such as swelling (oedema),
temperature changes around the affected area, skin changes (colour, texture and
temperature), increased sweating, intolerance to heat or cold, muscle spasms,
bone and muscle changes. You may also notice changes in hair and nail growth on
the affected limb or area.
For the best chance of a positive
outcome the patient should a timely diagnosis (quick) and effective treatment
plans implemented as soon as possible. Treatment can be by way of physiotherapy,
medications (tablets, medicines), nerve blocks (used alongside intensive physiotherapy),
hydrotherapy, phsycotherapy, tens machines, spinal cord stimulators, morphine
pumps and pain management techniques. Alternative therapies such as hyperbaric
oxygen therapy (HBOT), accupuncture or reflexology may also help relieve the pain.
RSD/CRPS patients may feel suicidal at times; it is important to seek medical advice and support from family and friends if you feel this way; don't keep it to yourself - there are people who want to help. If you know of an RSD/CRPS patient who feels suicidal make sure you get professional help, don't try to cope alone. For more information on depression and suicidal feelings please see our support section, that section also contains telephone numbers for organisations that may give advice.
Many patients find it useful to talk to others that have the same condition, you can join the RSD UK online support forums by visiting our support section. If, however, you do not have regular access to the internet, or are accessing the site for someone you know, we can put patients and families in touch with others facing similar difficulties. If you would like contact with others please contact Catherine or via the contact details page for more information.
IN THIS SECTION
A history of The RSD UK 2010