RSD stands for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.  It’s also known as CRPS – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.  But I don’t think CRPS is really used anymore.  This happens when the nerves that control pain sensation act all crazy and cause a lot of pain.  So, you don’t have to move much at all and not much has to touch it and your arm hurts like hell.  I’ve only seen this happen in the arm, I would imagine it can happen in the leg too.  I just read this and it talked about Shoulder-Hand Syndrome after a stroke.  I had never heard that term.  It’s the same thing as RSD, but it’s coming from your brain, I guess that’s the difference.  In RSD, the actual nerves in your arm are messed up.  As a physical therapist, I considered it a good thing when someone’s arm would start to hurt after a stroke.  That meant recovery to me.  You’d rather have pain than no sensation at all.

Categories: Brain stuff, Recovery, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , ,

4 replies

  1. Is this different from CPS (central pain syndrome)? One of my friends has this now after a deep brain surgery in her thalamus. She is advocating and pushing for more research after finally being diagnosed with CPS. It sounds excruciating, with few treatments and no end to the pain. I’m sure she would say no feeling is better than the horrid pain she deals with everyday.

    • I think it’s considered a little different than RSD. I don’t want to say the wrong thing – I don’t know much about this. I can certainly understand the sentiment that no feeling would be better.


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