Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Treatment Performed by Award Winning Doctors in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Glendale, and Chandler, Arizona
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a rare complex regional pain condition affecting the sympathetic nervous system that is characterized by severe and chronic pain, typically within the extremities.
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is also known as complex regional pain syndrome and may be accompanied by symptoms such as motor deficits and sensory problems.
While the symptoms are typically focused within one area, in some cases, they may spread to other parts of the body as well.
Causes of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Nerve damage that causes reflex sympathetic dystrophy is believed to be the result of conditions such as a heart attack, a stroke, a serious injury (e.g., spinal injury), or following surgery. These conditions are associated with excessive nerve inflammation and damage, which is believed to be the source of high levels of pain that do not correspond to the severity of the underlying injury or condition.
Treatments for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Patients who present with early onset symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy may alleviate their symptoms of poor circulation, inflexibility, muscle stiffness, and loss of muscle tone by doing physical therapy. Many patients who complete physical therapy early in the course of the condition may be able to prevent or even reverse some secondary changes in the brain that have been found to be linked to chronic pain.Patients may also experience a reduction in pain with spinal cord stimulation. This procedure involves implanting a device near the spinal column that delivers electrical impulses to control the transmission of pain signals from the nerves within the spine. Intrathecal pump implants can also provide patients with pain relief. This device pumps pain-relieving medications directly to the area surrounding the spinal cord.
In terms of alternative techniques, biofeedback training has received support for helping patients manage their symptoms of pain. This treatment involves teaching patients relaxation and coping skills, thereby allowing them to gain some control over their own symptoms of pain. Other alternative techniques, including acupuncture, are also thought to be beneficial for symptoms associated with reflex sympathetic dystrophy.