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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Board Index

There is no way to even hazard a guess at how long, or even if, you will get pain relief from a block. Each experience is different and a BIG factor in what may happen, depends on whether your pain is SMP(sympathetically maintained) or SIP(sympathetically independent). There is also no way to know which way your rsd has gone until you actually get a block.

If you do get pain relief, it may last an hour, or two or a few days. Generally, if you've only gotten one block, any relief will most likely not last long. With blocks it takes several of them. Supposedly, each block extends pain relief for a longer period. If you do get any pain relief at all, even for an hour, then your pain is SMP.

If you do not get any pain relief, your pain is SIP. Further blocks will not help and may in fact cause the pain to become much worse. Because rsd in a very individual disorder, some people's pain stays SMP longer than others. While others, like me, have the pain become SIP in a very short amount of time. I had rapid spread, was full body in 11 short months, and am quite sure my pain was SIP by then as well.

Because my pain was SIP by the time wc decided I "needed" a block, all it did for me was throw me into a 2 month long bodywide flare. Before you freak out and go :eek::eek: I have met only a handful of people who had the same reaction. I literally mean a handful in over 6 years. Usually, people with SIP who get a block may have a flare which lasts a few days.

Now, general feelings after a block is something I can say for sure. There is typically mild soreness for a few days at the site where the block was done. The neck for an SGB(aka stellate ganglion) or the lower back for an LSB(lumbar). Even with SIP, a block will warm up the rsd limb and also turn it a "normal" color again for as long as the block lasts. For me, the "normal" temp and color lasted for 10 hours.

Most docs will "put you out" temporarily to do the block. Some people have had a block done with no anesthesia and said it's not bad, while other people said it hurt like he double hockey sticks!! As with most things, it depends on your level of pain tolerance and possibly other factors I can't think of. LOL

Hope this rambling of mine helps you out some. If you have other questions, fire away! :-D


Karen is right when she says it all depends on the person and their tolerance to pain. Back when I was still in the diagnosis period I had three blocks done in the course of a couple months. The first block I had did take most the pain away but only for around four weeks. My second it was less and my third didn't do anything.But by that point the pain was way worse when it came back. I started to become very sensitive to the slightest touch and or air movement. Mine was a lumbar injection because the rsd is in my left leg,knee down. I have heard lots of different opinions from people on blocks. Some do see a big difference. My doctor at the time had said it can also depend on how long the nerves have stayed damaged or have been causing pain.Some times once you've been having the symptoms for so long you can't get perminate relief from the blocks and they can make it way worse. I did have soreness around the injection site and my back was pretty stiff for a couple days after each block.Nothing tylenol wouldn't help with.I hope I've been some help. Good luck if you do go through with it. Never be afraid to ask your doc a billion questions. In dealing with rsd, knowledge is power.

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