International Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation©

"Dedicated To Helping RSD/CRPS Patients Worldwide"

About RSD

What is RSD/CRPS?

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), more recently known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a disease brought on by damage or trauma to the Sympathetic Nervous System. It can be brought on by an accident, as in my case, minor trauma or surgery(i.e., arthroscopy of the knee or shoulder, carpal tunnel surgery, disc herniation surgery, removal of neuroma, rib resection, tarsal tunnel surgery, ulnar nerve surgery, etc.)


There are four stages of RSD/CRPS:

  • Stage I -Dysfunction
  • Stage II - Dystrophy
  • Stage III - Atrophy
  • Stage IV - Irreversible, Failure of the Immune system


Below are some of the symptoms of RSD/CRPS:

  • Burning pain in the extremities
  • Chronic pain after injury or surgery
  • Cold feeling in the extremities 
  • Discoloration of the skin 
  • Edema (Swelling of the extremities)
  • Hypersensitivity to touch
  • Limited range of motion 
  • Muscle spasms 


Below are some treatments to avoid:

  • Amputation
  • Application of ice
  • Chemical sympathectomy (i.e., Alcohol nerve block, Phenol nerve block)
  • Improper nerve blocks (i.e., Repetitive stellate ganglion nerve blocks)
  • Radiofrequency sympathectomy
  • Spinal cord stimulators (SCS)
  • Surgical sympathectomy
  • Unnecessary surgery


As, you can see these symptoms are varied and unique. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD/CRPS) can be in the upper extremities, lower extremities, there is facial RSD and total body RSD. I know this is brief, but I have avoided an in-depth discussion on this page because I am not a professional. Although I do have an office filled with documentation on RSD from professionals from all over the world, and I would prefer if you obtained the information from the literature that they have provided me.

I have placed some of these informative articles that I have regarding Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) on this website.

I hope that these articles on our website will be informative and helpful to your search for answers regarding this complex disease we call RSD/CRPS.