Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
by C. Moran from yourhealthcare.net
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) also called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), is a painful disorder affecting the nerves, blood vessels, muscles, tendons and bones, and in later stages can effect the immune system, and other organs.
CAUSES: Trauma (broken bones, sprains, bruises), electric shock, surgery, arthritis, infection, improper injections or nerve damage from compression (carpal tunnel/cubital tunnel syndromes) can cause the sympathetic nervous system to go "crazy" causing a variety of chronic, painful, and sometimes bizarre symptoms. Surgery to try to remedy RSD/CRPS (pumps, nerve decompression, etc.) can make the condition worsen and enable it to spread to other parts of the body. Repetitive motion, vibrations, temperature changes, stress, caffeine, alcohol, red meat, sharp cheese, and foods containing solanine which include tobacco can cause a worsening of symptoms or trigger a flare up.
There is no known explanation of why this disorder occurs in some people and not others. Some believe that sympathetic maintained pain is caused by nerves and tissues that have healed with changed DNA, The bodies immune system then sees the nerves and tissues as "enemies" and attacks them causing inflammation and pain. This autoimmune response can explain why some women with RSD have remissions while pregnant. Hormones produced during pregnancy, responsible for keeping the bodies immune system from attacking the fetus, temporally stopped the RSD.
Others believe that a person is genetically predisposed to this condition by an over active sympathetic nervous system. Some think that susceptibility factors may include genetic predisposition (HLA typing) and in some patients a tendency towards increased sympathetic activity. This includes cold hands, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), or a history of fainting.(4)
Many think RSD is a result of misfiring or overactive sympathetic nerve fibers. An abnormal response to the normal pain cycle ensues, resulting in sympathetic maintained pain.
SYMPTOMS: Not all patients have exactly the same symptoms but the most common are: severe sensitivity to touch and temperatures, swelling, muscle spasms, myoclonic jerks, sweating, muscle ticks, inflammation, anxiety, depression, trouble concentrating, irritability, bone loss, skin lesions (rare), immune system problems, with the most prominent symptom being chronic pain. The pain has been described as burning, shooting, stabbing and aching. Some report bizarre feelings of cold water being splashed on the affected area, goose bump, and distonia (difficulty initiating movement). Over time symptoms can change, become worse or better and sometimes spread to other areas apart from the original injury. Pain has the tendency to become less severe the longer the RSD/CRPS is present.
Other symptoms of RSD/CRPS, not always mentioned, caused by the malfunction of the sympathetic nervous system: allergies/asthma, absence or abnormal menstrual cycle, chest pain, cardiac complications, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders such as arthritis and Crohn's disease, IBS ( digestive problems-acid reflux, constipation ), fibromyalgia/myofacial syndrome, hypertension, Raynauds disease, increased sensitivity to external stimuli ( sight, sound, smell ), insomnia, memory loss, migraine headaches, mood swings/anxiety, tremors, visual disturbances.(
Blümberg, Jänig and Koltzenburg have discovered a new source of pain. It originates from the deep chemoreceptor c-fibres in muscle and bone. These chemoreceptors become activated with inactivity. Intermittent walking reduces the incidence of deep pain." (1 ) This explains why exercise is crucial in treating RSD/CRPS. Physical activity also triggers the release of endorphins, pituitary gland hormones, that function as natural opiates. Endorphins are considered to be 200 times more potent than morphine.(6) The word endorphin means "morphine within".
Many people with chronic pain do not manufacture enough endorphins, this causes two problems. The first is that your body is sending inappropriate pain messages, and it is not releasing endorphins to protect against the pain. The second is a lack of sufficient endorphins causes hypersensitivity to pain. There are ways we can work to increase our endorphins naturally and with medications.
Naturally occurring endorphins can be obtained by: 1. Exercise 2. Biofeedback, Meditation, Prayer 3. Bodywork, Massage, Hydrotherapy 4. Laughter. Endorphin research suggests that there is a link between our emotional state and the health and well-being of our immune systems. So pleasant memories, exercise, sexual activity, laughter, are all ways we can increase our levels of endorphins and therefore help our body to fight pain through its own natural chemicals.(7)
The body weakens and pain increases when there is a dominance of repressed, bottled up danger emotions such as pain, anger, and fear. It is strengthened as a result of increased expression of such positive emotions as happiness, pleasure and love. Evidence shows that our emotions and thoughts "talk" with the billions of defense cells in our immune system. The "limbic-hypothalamic system" of the brain is known as the major mind-body connector modulating the responses of the endocrine, immune, and autonomic nervous systems ( which includes the sympathetic nervous system ) in response to mental suggestions and beliefs. Sustaining a belief that recovery is possible can mobilize a healing response by activating all these major systems of mind-body communication and healing.(9)
What is the prognosis?
With regular exercise, taking good care of yourself mentally and physically, effective symptom treatment, good nights sleep, good nutrition, de-stress daily, and most important eliminating nerve stimulating factors such as caffeine, nicotine, and drugs/foods that stimulate the nervous system. The prognosis of a patient with RSD/CRPS is very good. You can learn to adapt and take control of your life again. Educating yourself and those close to you is empowering.
Don't give up hope! Hopelessness and stress can cause a worsening of symptoms. It's important to take care of the mind as well as the body. Look at the things you are able to do and not dwell on what you can't do. The best way to recover is to adapt to the changes this disorder causes to the body. It's OK to mourn the way you once were. Everyone with a devastating disease, disorder, or injury goes through a period of grieving. Unless you are one of the lucky RSD/CRPS patients that experience a total remission, the best thing to do is, from now on, learn to work with your body the way it is. You will probably have a limited amount of activities you are able to do in one day. Get to know your limits, but sometimes push a little beyond. Some days will be better than others. Learn to pay attention to what your body is telling you and if it's time to stop an activity, rest, then continue when the pain subsides.
It's important to continue, or to start back slowly to performing everyday normal tasks such as doing dishes (wear gloves if water bothers you), making the bed, doing laundry. These tasks probably will take three times as long as it would before you were afflicted with RSD/CRPS. That's OK, doing laundry is just one of the big hurdles I have to mentally battle with myself to do 2 times a week. Every step of the process causes pain, the mental hurdle is the hardest. Once I get over that ( actually saying to myself " just do it" ) I break up the laundry process into stages, with stretching, and resting included ( sometimes it can take me three days to finish ). Problem solving, planning out how, doing, and eventually accomplishing these tasks starts you mentally feeling better and opens up your world to doing things you never thought possible.
Learn to adapt to and not fearing pain is very important. When you feel severe pain while doing something -stop the activity, take deep breaths ( count to 8 in, hold for 5 then slowly exhale ), try to relax all your muscles and your mind, slowly stretch the area with the pain, let the pain pass through you, while continuing taking deep, slow breaths. Concentrate on relaxing your whole body, try to visualize a beach with waves lapping at the shore, or a field of flowers, stand up and stretch if necessary. If you go back to doing the same thing again and the pain continues, repeat the above. Sometimes your body is just telling you it's time to do something else, get back to the task later, when the nerves have calmed down.
It's important to remember the nerves are sending FALSE signals because of the RSD/CRPS. The pain is not a warning of a serious injury, although it can stop you in your tracks ( your brain thinks there is a serious injury, setting off the sympathetic responses ). Mentally you have to relax and do the breathing technique mentioned above. The nerves will eventually calm down. The more you move or use your body as normally as you can, the faster your recovery will be and the faster you can regain a more normal life.
Take time out when you need to rest, 15 minutes resting can work wonders. Get as much support from other RSD/CRPS people, friends, family and therapists as you can. Sometimes those around us don't understand what's going on especially since we look normal, that's OK. It's your responsibility to educate them to this bizarre disorder (give them a copy of this paper).
TREATMENT: Work closely with your treating Physician. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you just have to live with this, or it's all in your head. If your doctor tells you this- it's time to get another doctor. Different people require different prescriptions or combination of drugs and therapies to treat the symptoms. A treatment that works for one RSD/CRPS patient may not work for another. It is necessary to try different combinations until the pain and other symptoms are controlled.
Strong narcotic pain medication is not recommended. The long term effects and complications outweighs their long term effectiveness. Strong narcotic pain medications can lower the pain tolerance levels in patients over time. Although opiates are now used to treat chronic pain, they should be used as last resorts, after all other means are tried. If you are taking strong narcotic medication for the pain, do not let anyone make you feel guilty, or let people treat you like an addict. Just tell them that your endorphins are not normal and the medication aids in keeping the pain controlled, periodically have your doctor review the effectiveness of the medications you are taking and possibly try new combinations.
There are a variety of prescription drugs available to treat the many symptoms of RSD/CRPS. Seratonin in chronic pain patients is depleted very quickly so some form of Seratonin reuptake inhibitor is needed e.g. tricyclic antidepressants.
Drug Therapy: Local or systemic corticosteroids, Muscle relaxants, Alpha-adrenergic and beta blockers, Analgesics, Anti-inflammatories, Anticonvulsants, Tricyclics and related compounds, Calcium channel blockers ( chronic pain causes the cells to become flooded with calcium and are stuck in the open position, which stops communication between nerve cells ).
Blocks: Nerve blocks, Sympathetic blockade, Intravenous regional blocks.
Good alternative treatments that might be effective are: biofeedback, pain management specialists, physical therapists, (HBO) hyperbaric enhanced oxygen chambers, acupuncture, botox, massage, visualization therapy, herbal supplements, nutritional therapy, hypnosis, T.E.N.S. and hydrotherapy.
When diagnosed in the first three months nerve blocks may be effective. It is important to get physical therapy (with a therapist who has knowledge of RSD/CRPS). If nerve blocks or other treatments are not working or making you worse, stop them and try something else. You are responsible for your own health care. Do not let anyone cast, perform surgery with out getting a second opinion from a RSD/CRPS specialist. Don't suffer through ineffective treatments.
Understanding the Nervous System
The Autonomic nervous system (ANS, which regulates individual organ function and homeostasis, and for the most part is not subject to voluntary control) is divided into two parts these parts are the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system is concerned with conservation and restoration of energy, as it causes a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure, and facilitates digestion and absorption of nutrients, and consequently the excretion of waste products. The parasympathetic nervous system is confined to the head and trunk. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) calms, relax’s & slows down the body. When the SNS is activated then for obvious reasons the PNS is inhibited simultaneously. In other words the brain shuts down its primary calming mechanism to force you to remain alert & ready to face the threat.
The sympathetic nervous system is what arouses us in an emergency situation. The sympathetic nerves come from the thoracic vertebrae, or ribs, and the lumbar vertebrae, or small of the back. The preganglionic nerves of both systems release acetylcholine ( a substance that allows messages to travel from one nerve to another ), but the postganglionic nerve of the sympathetic system releases norepinephrine ( a hormone, released by the adrenal glands, that increases blood pressure by narrowing vessels ). The response that the sympathetic nervous system invokes is know as the "fight or flight" response. It allows the body to either, stay and fight the threat or to run away. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) commands release of various hormones in the body like the adrenaline, noradrenaline, glucocorticoids etc. through our various endocrine glands, like the pituitary & adrenal.
When the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated it can cause such things as dilation of the pupils of the eye, the constriction of blood vessels in the head, stomach, and extremities, increase in blood flow in the heart and muscles, the mouth dries up, adrenaline is pumped into the blood stream, air passages expand, the stomach stops working, the liver works hard to produce available sugar for energy, the kidneys slow down (secretion of urine is reduced), the bladder wall relaxes, the skin is stimulated to sweat and sometimes to contract its muscles. All of this is the body's natural defense mechanism. Stimulus to the sympathetic nervous system can also include environmental factors such as the cold. When damage occurs to the autonomic nervous system it can result in Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome/Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS).
Anyone can get RSD and there is now an estimated seven million people affected in to United States alone. Because the Sympathetic Nervous System effects so many different systems of the body, RSD/CRPS is a complex and little understood disorder. Sympathetic maintained pain is the most common. When pain occurs in the damaged area, the sympathetic nervous system takes the pain impulses and continues to fire off neurons along major nerves continuously, sometimes for days. The pain can be caused by something so simple as just touch, a breeze, certain movement, or temperature change.
Anatomy of Pain: pain signals travel from your peripheral nerves to your spinal cord to your thalamus, a message sorting and switching station in your brain. The thalamus sends two types of messages. One goes to your cerebral cortex, the thinking part of your brain, which assesses the location and severity of damage. The second is a "stop-pain" message back to the injury site to tell local nociceptors to stop sending any more pain messages. Once alerted, your brain doesn't need additional warning. But sometimes, this mechanism fails and pain persists.
Meanwhile, your cerebral cortex relays the pain message it received to your brain's limbic center. Your limbic center produces emotions, such as sadness or anger, in response to pain messages ( this is why relaxation and deep breathing is so important to control the emotional pain response ). Your limbic center can affect the way your cerebral cortex perceives pain messages, and can lessen or intensify your pain. Your cerebral cortex also sends messages to your autonomic nervous system, which controls vital body functions such as breathing, blood flow and pulse rate.
Several types of neurotransmitters (proteins and hormones produced in your brain or nervous system) can increase or decrease pain signals. A hormone--one of the prostaglandins--speeds transmission of pain messages and makes nerve endings more sensitive to pain. A protein called substance P continuously stimulates nerve endings at the injury site and within your spinal cord, increasing pain messages. Seratonin and norepinephrine (nor-ep-i-NEF-rin) seem to decrease pain by causing nociceptors to release natural pain-relievers called endorphins. (5)
(4) People with impaired sympathetic nervous systems can be susceptible to low blood pressure and fainting. When the sympathetic nervous system becomes over aroused it can result in panic attacks, general anxiety disorders and stress. The sympathetic nervous system also integrates brain and immune function.
Diagram of pain response in nerves (MUST GO TO ARTICLE LINK TO VIEW)
What research is being done? Investigators are studying new approaches to treat RSDS and intervene more aggressively after traumatic injury to lower the patient's chances of developing the disorder. Scientists are studying how signals of the sympathetic nervous system cause pain in RSDS patients. Using a technique called microneurography, these investigators are able to record and measure neural activity in single nerve fibers of affected patients. By testing various hypotheses, these researchers hope to discover the unique mechanism that causes the spontaneous pain of RSDS, and that discovery may lead to new ways of blocking pain. (2)
Words Of Hope from a RSD/CRPS survivor:
(Diagnosed in 1994) There is hope, you can survive this disorder!
Take good care of yourself everyday. It's important to rest, and also to get plenty of exercise, gentle stretching and strength training. Follow the guidelines below for diet and exercise tips. There is always a solution to the everyday problems associated with RSD/CRPS such as: assistive devices for things that are difficult for you to do: opening jars, cutting, holding books, steamer floor mops. It's OK to wear braces during flare-ups, but it's important not to wear them all the time, only when you need to keep going when the pain is deterring you. Patients who take responsibility for participating in their own recovery do better than those patients who see themselves as helpless victims of their disorder. Please ask for help if you need it.
Watch out for Denial:
Depression - Emotional turmoil - Negative thinking - Irritability - Anger - Loss of self esteem
Understand that it's your responsibility to make yourself well. Chronic pain causes so many emotional difficulties, especially making it very hard to even start on the road to recovery. In taking that first step ( wanting to get well ) you start to take control. If you aren't able to find a positive attitude alone, seek counseling with a support group, pain management clinic, biofeedback, or cognitive therapist. Your mental attitude every day can effect how you feel. Unfortunately there are still going to be bad days when you just aren't able mentally or physically to do the things that are positive for your recovery. That's OK, don't allow yourself to feel guilty or anxious about it, the bad day or days will pass, you get up, brush yourself off, and get going again.
Your Daily Plan
You have the power to reduce your pain - you just need to know how. The pain management skills below will help you. These Survival Skills will enable you to get back in control of your life, encourage the body's natural healing processes, and reduce your pain. All of the methods suggested here can be used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments. When you help yourself, you empower yourself. You feel in control of your life. You may not like it but the pain is here, and part of your life. Try to accept it, and do the best you can to take good care of your body and mind. You are the one with the power to give yourself wonderful release from pain with the techniques here. Don't let the days just drift by. Give them shape by planning exercise, rest, pacing activities, social contacts, work and fun.
Scanning: No matter what you are doing, and especially when you are doing something that causes pain, stay aware of any tension held in your body. You can "scan" your body by mentally going head to toe to check for tense muscles. Some people can just go through a mental check list such as: neck muscles relax, face relax, arms relax, and so on. Another way to relax is to tense the muscle then release it, going through all the muscle groups.
Breathing: When you are resting, meditating, or just feeling a lot of pain use the breathing techniques mentioned on page 2.
Pacing: Make sure you space out activities, breaking them up into smaller sections. Vary your activities and the posture needed for them. Plan your meals for the day, decide which tasks need to be done, and split them up with resting and stretching periods.
Exercise: Plan your exercise. Whether it's walking, swimming, stretching, yoga or some other activity plan it at a time of day you feel your best. Perform a set of exercises that are appropriate for you and your pain. Do them in a relaxed, meditative state. Don't forget to take advice on which exercises are best for you from an expert.
Relaxation: Best taken after your exercise session. Let yourself go into a deep relaxation for about 15-20 minutes at least once a day. Sitting watching TV is not the equivalent of relaxation. You need to lie down and really let go so that you allow the production of endorphins, natural pain relieving agents, to flow. The relaxation will leave you feeling peaceful, centered with less pain.
Social Contact Try to have close contact with at least one person during the day, family or close friend. I know it's not always possible, but - a hug a day helps keep the pain away! If you can't do this physically, contact a friend by phone, write a letter or through your support group.
Leisure Activity First thing in the morning, before you get up, ask yourself, "What am I going to do to enjoy myself today?" Decide on at least one thing, then make sure you do it.
Work: It doesn't matter whether the work is voluntary, paid, or studying. Try to do some every day if you can. It will improve your self-esteem and will keep you in touch with the 'real' world. Voluntary work can be the most rewarding. Find some type to do at home if you can't go out. If you are working full or part time at a job, make sure you schedule rest and meditative time during breaks or lunch.
Fun Laugh and Smile: The best therapy of all! Pain relieving endorphins are released with every smile. You will look and feel better for having some fun in your life. It's not always easy, if it doesn't come naturally, you need to plan to have laughter in your life. There are plenty of videos, books and tapes which are guaranteed to make you smile or even laugh out aloud. There is also a meditation/relaxation technique which combines breathing and smiling so that you keep a smile on your lips, which makes you feel calmer and happier - and, yes, it really does work! (10)
Unable to exercise? Try to find a Hyperbaric/Oxygen chamber (HBO) near you, and take a session of one hour treatments. This can replace exercise until you are able to exercise on your own. Do not pay more than $75 per treatment. Check around to get the best prices, some chiropractors offer HBO treatments. Make sure that they are using oxygen enhancement, otherwise the treatments are not effective. The extra oxygen given to you in the mask helps the nerves and injured tissues to heal. This treatment over a period of a month helped to stop all of my sympathetic maintained pain, took the swelling and stiffness out of my joints, and had me sleeping at night with energy the next day. The regular pain was less and I just overall felt better. The treatments were so successful I was able to start to exercise on my own, replacing the treatments of the HBO.
Battle the sensitivity: You have to find ways to desensitize effected areas: fleece, lambs wool, or soft soft cotton can help. Moisturizer applied often can also help, the more you touch the sensitive area, the less sensitive it becomes. Experiment to find solutions that work for you. Wearing gloves, soft cloth cotton or silk over the effected areas can also help.
Try alternative medicine such as Reiki and Chakra meditaion. Healing Stones and crystals have helped me, a 10 year RSD sufferer. Here is my other site: http://mountaingems.net
that I started to help those with chronic pain and illness, if you e-mail email@example.com
or call me Toll Free: 877-785-5372 for free advice to which stones would help the most.
RSD/CRPS/Fibromyalgia and Arthritis diet and life style changes that really work: The reward of the following diet and life style changes can really help you take control of your life again, ease symptoms and free you from the chronic pain, depression and helplessness often associated with chronic pain conditions.
Once you start to feel better the easier it is to follow this guide.
Give your body time to adjust and detox from your usual diet. Always try to use organic vegetables and foods as much as you can. Eat raw, whole foods daily.
Here are some basic guides to follow:
Most Important! No CAFFEINE, or anything that contains caffeine (including chocolate, OK OK you can cheat once in a great while with the chocolate if you watch all other intake) caffeine stimulates the nerves. If you are addicted to caffeine the most painless way to stop is to drink ginseng tea, (found in most grocery stores) it gives a lift and eases caffeine withdrawals such as headache and irritability. Eventually you should give up the ginseng (a mild stimulant) and drink caffeine free herbal teas.
No Alcohol alcohol can increase CNS pain, and worsen muscle spasms.
Stop Smoking nicotine is a nerve stimulant, tobacco contains a poison called solanine that causes pain in muscles. There are nicotine free cigarettes that contain passion flower, a muscle relaxant, and other natural ingredients that if you really need to smoke, you can satisfy the cravings until you kick the habit.
Do not use nicotine patches or gum, they can cause a worsening of symptoms.
Foods you must avoid:
Wheat and foods containing gluten. (oats, barley malt, modified food starch, etc.). Substitutes: corn and rice pasta available at health food stores, as well as rice, sprouted grain bread and other wheat free breads (spelt, millet).
* Avoid foods in the night shade family: tomato, white potato, eggplant, peppers, and tobacco, they contain solanine. Solanine is a poison, a natural carcinogen causing pain in the muscles and aggravating inflammatory symptoms. (Red skinned potatoes are recommended) (3)
Sugar substitutes: aspartame, saccharine
Avoid food preservatives and additives as much as possible.
Animal protein: avoid red meat, red meat causes an increase in adrenaline, avoid antibiotics in poultry & eggs if possible in your area. One of the side effects of cutting gluten out of the diet is weight loss.
Read all food labels so you know exactly what you are consuming.
Foods you must avoid at first: then slowly add one at a time back into your diet. It's recommended to keep a journal of symptoms when you introduce a food and avoid ones that cause trouble.
Dairy products and foods containing dairy: use Rice Dream, Almond, or Soy milk to substitute.
( white non-aged cheese is OK to eat occasionally, if you do not bloat, or have bowel problems later )
Sugar: check all food labels other names for sugar include: brown, granulated, powdered, dextrose, fructose, galalactose, glucose, glycogen, lactose (milk sugar) maltose, mannitol, monosaccharides, polysaccharides, sorbitol, sucrose, barley malt, honey, maple syrup, molasses, maple sugar, date sugar, turbinado sugar. Use stevia in replace of sweeteners.
Nuts: peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts
Fruits: fruit juices, start back slowly to fruits in the first week by eating apples, strawberries, and melons.
Keep track of symptoms: if you suspect that a food caused a worsening of symptoms, eliminate it again then reintroduce it back into your diet after a week. It takes time to illuminate foods that make you feel worse, but the effort is well worth it.
What you can eat freely unless you are allergic:
all vegetables and legumes (except mentioned above)
whole grains: kamut, millet, brown rice, wild rice, spelt, teff
nuts: almond, brazil nut, filbert, macadamia nut, pecan, pine nut
poultry: chicken, turkey, Cornish hen, duck, goose, game birds
Eat four to five small meals a day this gives the body the fuel it needs otherwise the body will rob the muscles of essential nutrients.
Drink water a gallon a day if you can, distilled only.
Psyllium: take one Tbls in large glass of water with aloe juice 2X a day to promote and maintain healthy bowels and rid the body of toxins.
Essential Supplements: use nondairy, gluten, yeast, artificial color and flavor free only.
Vitamin A 5,000iu (protects the cells)
B complex, high potency, time released (helps restore healthy nerve function)
C at least 2000mg-5000mg a day (antioxidant, reduces inflammation & pain)
Calcium 2,000mg a day (strong bones, aids in neuromuscular activity)
D 400iu daily (relieves muscle spasms and pain)
E 400-600iu daily (antioxidant, maintains healthy nerves)
Glucosamine 1.5g a day (joint health, involved in formation of tendons ligaments, and bones)
Chrondroitin 1.2g a day (important in creating cartilage in joints)
Magnesium 750-1000mg a day (prevents: depression, dizziness, muscle twitching and weakness)
Lecithin 1,200mg 2X a day (helps nervous system, and is involved with neurotransmitters)
Primrose oil (essential fatty acid, anti-inflammatory) take as directed
Acidophilus friendly bacteria use non dairy formulas (maintains healthy digestive tract)
Spirulina high protein microalgae (contains nutrients that cleanse and heal the body)
Coenzyme Q10 100-200mg a Day (improves tissue oxygenation)
If cold aggravates symptoms keep extremities warm with gloves, warm socks or fleeced lined shoes.
Topical Remedies: Rosemary oil and lavender oil diluted with water or witch hazel rubbed onto the skin can relieve pain.
Zoltran* (Caspian cream) made from hot peppers can relieve pain (caution! apply with cotton this cream is hard to get off and really can burn) it works to inhibit substance P thought to be linked to pain.
Moderate Exercise is crucial in for recovery, in addition to physical therapy walking or hydrotherapy, depending on where you have the RSD/CRPS, at least three times a week (do not overexert yourself to much, this can aggravate symptoms) followed with gentle stretching.
Try to stretch every day.
Fibromyalgia RSD/CRPS patients exercise is a must, it will help with insomnia and remove the toxins trapped in the muscles. Symptoms will improve after your body gets used to exercise. (Candida infection is common in people with fibbromyalgia). In addition to the above listed supplements you should take Melatonin, sustained release formula is best (promotes a sound sleep) take 1-2 hours before bedtime, use as directed.
Are you depressed? It is common for RSD/CRPS and Fibromyalgia patients to suffer from depression. Seratonin levels in the body get depleted very quickly with chronic pain, talk to your doctor about this. There are many low dose antidepressants that work well restoring Seratonin levels, and can help ease chronic pain. Anyone with chronic pain should be taking some kind of medication to keep the Seratonin levels normal. Please show this information to your Doctor and get approval before following this advice.
Affecting the hand and feet, this disorder causes hypersensitivity to cold. When the hands/feet are exposed to cold temperatures or to vibrations/tapping the small arteries contract and spasm, as a result the fingers and toes are deprived of oxygenated blood, which causes severe numbness.
Raynaud's many times accompanies RSD/CRPS.
Coenzyme Q10 100-200mg a Day (improves tissue oxygenation
E 200iu (improves circulation)
Calcium 1500 mg a day
Magnesium 750mg a day
Zinc 50mg daily ( do not exceed over 100mg daily from other supplements you are taking)
Highly Recommended Web Sites and Resources:
1. To find books, info, herbal and vitamin supplements and on-line support: http://yourhealthcare.net
2. A wonderful pain management web sight: http://painmanagementtheory.homestead.com
3. Assistive devices, tools and more on-line catalog: http://www.freedomlivingdevices.com
4. CAN DO 2315-G East Palmdale Boulevard Suite B-47 Palmdale, California 93550 (661) 274-8733
5. Innovative Solutions for Disability low cost assistive devices: http://www.ocgoodwill.org/atec/atec_main.html
6. Great site for therapeutic pillow devices for sleeping, supports for legs,arms, and backs: http://www.gr8lakesmed.com
I use this daily for neck and back pain and pain in arms, excellent product:
Core Soothe-A-Ciser Price: $27.99 Helps relieve tension headaches and neck pain. Details: Patented design helps you relax and restore proper neck posture, which may be causing headaches. This pillow also makes a good cushion to use with the Cervical Traction System. This pillow IS NOT designed for sleeping. High quality, precision-cut foam covered with a durable cotton/poly case. from great lakes medical
7. Assistive living devices: everyday, pleasure, work: http://www.helpmates.on.ca/shop.asp
8. Cirque Glidepoint Computer mouse replacement for disabilities: http://www.glidepoint.com/products/easy.html
9. Computer ergonomic helpers: http://www.ergomart.com
(1) Dr. Hooshangs statement from Blümberg, Jänig and Koltzenburg
(2) Info provided by The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD 20892
(3) Dr. Norman F. Childers, Ph.D. Arthritis Nightshades Research Foundation http://www.noarthritis.com/Bt-symptoms.htm
(4) Don R Revis, Jr, MD, Consulting Staff, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine Coauthored by Elliot Goldberg, MD, Dean of the Western Pennsylvania Clinical Campus, Professor, Department of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine; Arthur Weinstein, MD, Director, Division of Rheumatology, Research Professor, Department of Medicine, Washington Hospital Center
(5)Cathy Wilson RN; "Founder, intractable pain.com"
(6) Dr. Leaman, author of "Healing the anxiety diseases".
(7) Pat O Reilly - Chronic Pain Clearinghouse 14776 Canyon Rd. Rio Nido, CA 95471 707-869-5971 Email Pat95471@yahoo.com
Dr. Donald Rhodes, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S., Corpus Christi, TX 512-992-9432
(9) The Power of the Mind in Getting Well- Rossi, 1986, 54-55
(10) Jan Sadler, the author of "Natural Pain Relief" published by CW Daniel Books