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What is RSD/CRPS?
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) aka Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a cluster of symptoms. A syndrome is a disease that has many parts to it - just like a completed puzzle it has many pieces. Each symptom (or piece) by itself may be unrecognizable; but when put together, a symptom complex creates a picture of the disease.
RSD/CRPS is a highly complex, degenerative disease of the sympathetic nervous system and a neurological chronic pain disorder caused by a “malfunction” within the sympathetic nervous system -- the most perplexing in its category. This disease can result in intractable, unrelenting pain.
The McGill Pain Index ranks RSD/CRPS as one of the most agonizing, debilitating experiences a body can go through, and is the most painful chronic pain disease known.
RSD/CRPS can be brutal, totally disabling, and progressive, causing the degeneration of skin, muscle, and bone tissue. This disease can result in a compromised immune system, and in the breakdown of joints, skin, muscles, bones, as well as having a direct effect on circulation. In addition, that progression can include loss of memory, concentration; severe arthritis and osteoporosis; a decrease in eyesight, coordination, temperature regulation; reduction in balance and equilibrium; cardiac disorders; severe headaches; tremors; and, unparalleled fatigue.
And the list continues.
Early diagnosis of RSD/CRPS is extremely important so proper therapy can be applied. With so little known about the disease, a delay in its diagnosis can promote progression or spread of the disease.
There is no single test that can be used, or any widely-recognizable course of treatment, and currently, no cure.
Currently, there is no cure... but there is always hope.