Is There a Cure for RSD?

After first asking the question “What is RSD?”, the person that has been diagnosed will likely ask their doctor “Is there a cure for RSD?” Unfortunately for all who suffer from the chronic pain that RSD causes, the short answer is “No” – or at the very least “Not Yet.” The video below explains how the body’s nervous system works in processing pain signals and can give some insight into how it can malfunction:

Given how the body can malfunction when it comes to processing pain, we can now see why a “cure” for RSD has not yet been found. While there is no cure, there are options for those who suffer from RSD.

The potential options are treatments for RSD that may be helpful:

  • Ketamine Treatment: this procedure is banned in the US, though there are experiments that have taken place to try to prove this particular therapy. Simply put, the nervous system is “put into a coma”, the idea being that as it “resets” the malfunction in nerve response will be remedied.
  • Sympathectomy: This procedure is a surgical one that involved removing sympathetic nerve tissue. Results for the procedure can be mixed, with some patients experience long-term relief while others experience increased pain. As doctor’s learn more about Electrical Nerve Stimulation: Ongoing electrical nerve stimulation can sometimes be helpful in relieving pain over short periods of time. Many who have tried this type of treatment have indicated that relief comes with nearly continuous use a stimulative devices (TENS Unit).
  • Nerve Block Treatment: By injecting RSD patients with an anesthetic (usually lidocaine), doctors can dull the nerve response/impulse of the sympathetic nervous system in major nerves related to the spine. The concept is similar to that of ketamine treatments in that the hope is that the body will eliminate the malfunction causing pain. Typically, the procedure lasts for several months and can be done in conjunction with a regimen of pain management medications. Unfortunately, each new nerve block treatment is less effective than the last. Over time, sufferers have found that multiple treatments lead to very little impact on overall pain. New medication combinations seem to be helping in prolonging the positive benefits though more research and data needs to be collected.

Other options range from medication for pain management to alternative therapies like electro-acupuncture. Whatever the case, until medical science begins to make more substantive advances, the most an RSD sufferer can hope for is to reduce pain to a manageable (and hopefully negligible) level. So – “Is there a cure for RSD?” Not yet, but we can continue to hold out hope that doctors who have committed their lives to this work can make progress in finding news modes of treatment.

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