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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Board Index

Fibro or rsd?
Apr 25, 2005
i/ve read both the fibro and rsd symptoms. i've also bought tons of books on rsd and fibro. they say that fibro has burning pain also.

so how in the sam hill can you tell the difference???? i have all the symptoms of both...
Re: Fibro or rsd?
Apr 25, 2005
Hi Earle, I understand your confusion from reading about these conditions, however, once you have suffered from both, you would know they really are not alike. I have had Fibro since late 1999. Most fibro people have trigger points of burning pain, achey and burning in the muscle tissue almost feeling it in the joints. It is most common in the shoulders, back, upper hips. It feels like you got hit by a Mac truck, real fluish like..those are my symptoms, others have it more severe. In March of 2004 I had a bunionectomy on my big toe on the right foot which required removing the bunion, breaking my toe, pushing it over to straighten it and putting two screws in it. I had never had surgery in my life before this. I am 53. I am not a woos with pain, I delivered my three children with absolutely no medication (totally "natural"), not because it didn't hurt, oh yeah, it hurt, but I've always been able to manage pain, was taught by my Mom not to be a woos. Anyway, after a few weeks my foot started doing very strange things, swelling, turning red and purple, having a deep throbbing pain along with deep bone pain in the toe. To make a long story short, I thought I had really gotten soft over the years because the pain to me was incredible. I continued with physical therapy to get some range of motion, but still the foot throbbed and discolored. It took a second opinion some five months later to tell me I had developed RSD. Once they treated the pain with meds, my symptoms got a whole lot better. See, the pain signals are what causes RSD to get worse cuz RSD is the nervous system gone haywire (along with vascular problems). Today I am on morphine which has taken away the deep bone pain in the original surgery site, and also has taken away the burning and vascular throbbing in the rest of the foot. However, on some rainy days, the vascular throbbing returns, or if I am up on my foot for too many straight hours the vascular throbbing flares. I'm prettty normal though, however, I can't lay the weight of my good left leg on my bad right foot/leg, the weight cuts circulation and the throbbing begins. My drs. feel my immune system was compromised prior to fibro, then I got fibro which left me an open candidate for the RSD. All I can describe to you about the fibro is it is more like a deep ache with slight burning, while the RSD for me is burning, and a vascular deep throbbing pain. They are quite different. The morphine has also handled the fibro, so all is good for now. I try not to think of the future if I get immune to the morphine or other pain meds, I'll cross that bridge if I come to it. I hope I helped some, if you have more questions - shoot away. If your pain was handled through blocks and meds, that may have decreased your RSD symptoms quite quickly. The key to RSD is getting a handle on the pain so your body does not respond with greater pain. Just because you didn't go through all the steps some of us had to go through due to misdiagnosis or just not finding the right meds,etc doesn't mean it isn't RSD. Again, only the future will show definitely....regards, Beth

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