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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Board Index

Hi Miss Megara,

Sorry to hear about the pain you have been experiencing in the last couple of years.

All of the symptoms that you describe could well be symptoms of CRPS (RSD or causalgia). There is no definitive test for this disorder, diagnosis is usually made purely from clinical observation, often over multiple visits as the symptoms may not always be present.

I have included below the 4 major signs and symptoms of RSD as well as some of the minor symptoms that may occur.

Hope this helps,



[SIZE=4][B]Symptoms of CRPS (RSD and Causalgia)[/B][/SIZE]

[B]CRPS Symptoms [/B]

There are 4 main symptoms in CRPS (RSD and Causaligia), but there are many more effects that is has on the body.

[SIZE=3][B]The 4 main symptoms are: [/B] [/SIZE]

[B]1. Pain [/B]

This is the major symptom of CRPS, which is extremely intense, often leading to a lack of sleep.

Described usually as severe, constant and burning in nature; like the affected area was on fire or in a pot of boiling water. You can also suffer from throbbing, aching, stabbing, crushing, sharp or tingling pain in the affected areas. The painful areas are not limited to the original accident or trauma site. The pain is more severe than what is expected for the type of injury sustained.

Allodynia usually accompanies this pain. This is an extreme sensitivity to a stimulus that would not normally cause pain. A slight touch, clothing, even a breeze can cause extreme pain. Hyperpathia and Hyperesthesia can also be present (Increased sensitivity to painful stimulus including pressure and touch which can continue after the stimulus is removed). Pain can be caused by vibrations and even loud noises and sound.

[B]2. Inflamation [/B]

Inflamation is present in MOST cases of CRPS and can be present in many forms. These include swelling (edema), colour changes (mottled skin, purple, blue, red or pale discolourations), skin rashes, bleeding in the skin, bruising easily, swelling in and around the joints and freezing of the joints.

Inflamation is not always present.

[B]3. Spasms [/B]

The blood vessels of the skin and muscles spasm causing a feeling of coldness. This can also result in tremors, muscle weakness or fatigue, movement disorders (dystonia), weakness and clumsiness of the extremities and the tendency to fall.

[B]4. Insomnia and Emotional Disturbances [/B]

CRPS affects the limbic system, the part of the brain in which the sympathetic nerve fibres carrying the pain and other impulses terminates. This is positioned between the brainstem (at the base of the neck) and the brain's cerebral hemispheres.

Disturbance of the limbic system causes depression, aggitation, irritability, insomnia, short term memory loss and lack of judgement or concentration.

[SIZE=3][B]SOME Other Symptoms of CRPS [/B] [/SIZE]

[B]Movement Disorders [/B] - difficulty in beginning movement of the affected area or the inability to move the area. Eventual development of dystrophy and/or atrophy.

[B]Skin Changes[/B] - Skin may change colour. May be mottled. Can become shiny, dry and tight. Rashes and sores can occur (neurodermatitis). The skin can become thin and fragile or may become quite thick, developing elephantiasis.

[B]Sweating[/B] - increased sweating in affected areas or lack of sweat especially in later stages.

[B]General Weakness[/B] - Body Fatigue

[B]Increased Tone[/B] - Muscle and skin tightening

[B]Increased Reflexes[/B] - Tremors of affected extremities and muscle spasms.

[B]Hair/Nails[/B] - These may grow at an increased rate in early stages and/or then slow or stop growing in affected areas. The hair can also change in colour and thickness. Nails can become grooved, cracked, discoloured and brittle.

[B]Eye Sight[/B] - visual disturbances can occur including blurring, difficulty focusing and dizziness in the form of vertigo (either the body or objects moving around).

[B]Hearing[/B] - tinnitus (buzzing or ringing in the ears).

[B]Joints[/B] - decreased ROM (range of movement), Tenderness and swelling.

[B]Bones[/B] - patchy osteoporosis and increased vascularity

[B]Miscellaneous[/B] - loss of libido, relationship problems, anxiety and panic disorders. Immune system disturbances. Inability to control body temperature and fever, especially in the late stages of CRPS.

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