Everything You Need To Know About Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) is a disease that is the result of an injury or surgery due to another injury. Every single person has a reflex nerve. When you are injured, this nerve does not shut off. This is what allows you to feel pain. After the pain, you feel some burning to indicate the healing process has started. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a progressive disease that impacts your autonomic nervous system. Instead of symptoms going away after an injury occurs, they get worse when a person has this disease.

The Burning Sensation

For someone with this condition, the burning sensation will feel as though there is a fire underneath your skin. Imagine having a cut on your skin and accidentally spilling gasoline on it. This is what it feels like for someone with this condition. Some individuals with this condition also say it feels like someone stuck a heated fireplace poker right into the injury.

What Causes this Condition?

The unfortunate truth is having RSD feels a lot like you have a disease doctors know absolutely nothing about. This is because science has yet to determine how this condition develops. There are a variety of events and situations which could trigger this disease:

  • Injury
  • Surgery
  • Heart Disease
  • Degenerative Arthritis
  • Nerve Irritation
  • Shingles
  • Breast Cancer

If your healthcare provider from an urgent care clinic is able to help determine exactly what triggers your RSD to flare up, it is possible to limit how much trouble you have with the condition.

Treatment is a Struggle

RSD is a frustrating disease for both the patient and the doctor treating it as it alters and spreads. This causes new symptoms to appear. Individuals with RSD describe hard-to-believe pains that do not make any sense with the type of injury they have suffered from. For this reason, it is not uncommon for someone with RSD to be turned away and told the pain is psychological.

The opportunity of exploring an aggressive and productive treatment plan is lost when a healthcare provider decides to place blame on the mental state of the patient. While getting psychological support can be helpful to the patient, it can also make the patient feel as though the provider does not believe how intense the pain really is.

Even when RSD is discovered, diagnosed, and treated, it is still a progressive disease that leads to a long-term disability involving reoccurring pain, loss of mobility, and muscle weakness.