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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Awareness Month

November 1 November 30 CDT

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Awareness Month, observed in November, is a time to increase awareness of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, the need for a cure, and spur advocacy on behalf of those suffering with the emotional, financial and physical burden of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) is a condition that includes a group of symptoms, including pain (often “burning” type), tenderness, and swelling of an extremity associated with varying degrees of sweating, warmth and/or coolness, flushing, discoloration, and shiny skin. RSD is also referred to as “complex regional pain syndrome,” “the shoulder-hand syndrome,” “causalgia,” and “Sudeck’s atrophy.”

The most common and prominent symptom of CRPS is the pain that affected individuals will feel. The pain is often deep inside the limbs with a burning, stinging, or tearing sensation. Sensory changes are also common, and may include increased sensitivity to painful stimuli, feeling pain from stimuli that are usually non-painful, and in some instances, sensory loss (e.g., numbness).

In addition to pain, patients commonly experience an affected extremity that is warm, red, and swollen, at least initially. In many patients, as CRPS continues, the affected extremity may more often feel cool with dark or bluish skin. Swelling, resulting from fluid build-up in the limb (edema), can be present regardless of the color and temperature of the skin, but is typically more prominent with the early clinical picture (red and warm skin). Skin color and temperature may sometimes change even over short periods of time inconsistently. In addition to the changes above, CRPS patients may experience skin that becomes thin and shiny, and may experience either increased or decreased hair and nail growth in the affected extremity.

Check out CRPS Warriors Foundation for more information about advocacy.



November 1
November 30