Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS) is a condition that features a group of typical symptoms, including pain (often “burning” type), tenderness, and swelling of an extremity associated with varying degrees of sweating, warmth and or coolness, flushing, discoloration, and shiny skin and even increased hair growth in the affected area.
RSDS is diagnosed based on the clinical features described above. Blood testing is not abnormal because of RSDS but may be with one of its associated conditions. X-rays can show patchy thinning or significant osteoporosis. Nuclear bone scanning can demonstrate characteristic uptake patterns.
Response to allopathic treatment is greater in earlier stages than later stages. Cool, moist applications can provide some relief of burning symptoms. Gradual exercising can prevent contracture. For persisting symptoms, high doses of cortisone are used for periods of weeks, depending on response, and then gradually reduced.
Occasionally, a nerve block with anesthetic injected into a specialized area of the involuntary nervous system (stellate ganglion blockade) can help. Sometimes a series of these blocks is tried. Other treatments include surgically interrupting the sympathetic nerves of the involuntary nervous system (surgical sympathectomy), pain drug pumps implanted into the spinal canal (intrathecal drug pumps), and spinal cord stimulation devices.
The Homeopathic Treatment of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy depends not only on the cause but the effect as well. To start with, the doctor must ascertain the stage and level of the disease and then accordingly give the treatment. Along with the medicine, the role of physiotherapy and regular exercises becomes equally important in such a disease.
RSDS is also referred to as "the shoulder-hand syndrome," "causalgia," and "Sudeck's atrophy." The exact mechanism of how RSDS develops is poorly understood. The theories include irritation and abnormal excitation of nervous tissue, leading to abnormal impulses along nerves that affect blood vessels and skin. A variety of events can trigger the condition, including trauma, surgery, heart disease, degenerative arthritis of the neck, stroke or other brain diseases, nerve irritation by entrapment (such as carpel tunnel syndrome ) or shingles , shoulder problems, breast cancer, and drugs for tuberculosis and barbiturates. There is no associated event in one-third of patients.
The onset of the RSDS symptoms may be rapid on gradual. The condition may not display all features. There are several stages:
- Acute: (three to six months) burning, flushing, blanching, sweating, swelling, pain, and tenderness. This stage can show early x- ray changes of patchy bone thinning.
- Dystrophic: (three to six months) early skin changes of shiny, thickened skin and contracture with persistent pain, but diminished swelling and flushing.
- Atrophic: (may be long-standing) loss of motion and function of the involved hand or foot with contracture (flexed scarring process), thinning of the fatty layers under the skin. X-ray can show significant osteoporosis.