There is no cure for RSD, also called complex regional pain syndrome, but it can be managed. RSD treatments tend to focus on relieving the symptoms and helping people to live as normal a life as possible. Physical and occupational therapy should be started as early as possible. Starting a low-intensity exercise program and learning to keep joints and muscles moving may prevent the RSD disease from getting worse and negatively affecting participation in everyday activities.
< em>RSD treatment options vary and are largely dependent on the particular stage RSD has reached given a physician’s assessment. Medications may be used, including pain medicines, steroids, certain blood pressure medicines, bone loss medications, and antidepressants. Some type of talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or psychotherapy, can help teach the skills you need to live with chronic pain. In severe cases, surgical or invasive techniques may also be tried. These are more invasive and should be thoroughly researched before pursuing them, as pursuing this option may also make the symptoms of RSD worse
- Injected medicine that numbs the affected nerves or pain fibers around the spinal column (nerve block)
- Internal pain pump that directly delivers medications to the spinal cord (intrathecal drug pump)
- Spinal cord stimulator, which involves placing electrodes next to the spinal cord. A low-level electrical current is used to create a pleasant or tingling sensation in the painful area is the best way to reduce pain in some patients.
- Surgery that cuts the nerves to destroy the pain (a sympathectomy), although it is unclear how many patients this helps. It may also make some patients’ symptoms of RSD worse.
Learn more about RSD medication typically prescribed for treatment of RSD and CRPS here.
Learn more about nerve block treatment and its uses for the treatment of RSD and CRPS here.
Learn more about electrical nerve stimulation and its uses in the treatment of RSD and CRPS here.
Learn more about surgical intervention and its uses in the treatment of RSD and CRPS here.
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