Diseases & Conditions


Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome

Synonyms of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
  • Algodystrophy
  • Algoneurodystrophy
  • Causalgia Syndrome (Major)
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy
  • RSDS
  • Sudeck's Atrophy

Disorder Subdivisions

    General Discussion
    Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), also known as complex regional pain syndrome, is a rare disorder of the sympathetic nervous system that is characterized by chronic, severe pain. The sympathetic nervous system is that part of the autonomic nervous system that regulates involuntary functions of the body such as increasing heart rate, constricting blood vessels, and increasing blood pressure. Excessive or abnormal responses of portions of the sympathetic nervous system are thought to be responsible for the pain associated with reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome.

    The symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome typically begin with burning pain, especially in an arm, finger(s), palm of the hand(s), and/or shoulder(s). In some individuals, RSDS may occur in one or both legs or it may be localized to one knee or hip. Frequently, RSDS may be misdiagnosed as a painful nerve injury. The skin over the affected area(s) may become swollen (edema) and inflamed. Affected skin may be extremely sensitive to touch and to hot or cold temperatures (cutaneous hypersensitivity). The affected limb(s) may perspire excessively and be warm to the touch (vasomotor instability). The exact cause of RSDS is not fully understood, although it may be associated with injury to the nerves, trauma, surgery, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, infection, or radiation therapy.

    Organizations related to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
    • American Chronic Pain Association
      P.O. Box 850
      Rocklin CA 95677
      Phone #: 916-632-0922
      800 #: 800-533-3231
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.theacpa.org
    • American Pain Foundation
      201 North Charles Street
      Baltimore MD 21201
      Phone #: 410-783-7292
      800 #: 888-615-7246
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.painfoundation.org
    • American Pain Society
      4700 West Lake Avenue
      Glenview IL 60025-1485
      Phone #: 847-375-4715
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.ampainsoc.org
    • American RSDHope
      P.O. Box 875
      Harrison ME 04040-0875
      Phone #: 207-583-4589
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.rsdhope.org
    • Arthritis Foundation
      1330 West Peachtree Street
      Atlanta GA 30309
      Phone #: 404-872-7100
      800 #: 800-568-4045
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.arthritis.org
    • International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
      909 NE 43rd Street
      Seattle WA 98105-6020
      Phone #: 206-547-6409
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://[email protected],
    • Irish Chronic Pain Association
      Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups
      Dublin None 7
      Phone #: +35-31 -8047567
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.chronicpainireland.org
    • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
      150 Custer Court
      Green Bay WI 54301-1243
      Phone #: 920-336-5333
      800 #: 877-336-5333
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
    • Mid Carpal Instability/Palmar Midcarpal Instability & Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 1&2 Suffers UK
      8 Archer House
      London None N1 5NY
      Phone #: 020--76-84-1668
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://groups.msn.com/PalmarMidcarpalInstabilityPMCIRSD
    • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
      31 Center Drive
      Bethesda MD 20892-2540
      Phone #: 301-496-5751
      800 #: 800-352-9424
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
    • PARC: Promoting Awareness of RSD/CRPS in Canada
      PO Box 210726 St. Catherines
      Ontario None L2M 7X2
      Phone #: 905--93-4-0261
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://people.becon.org/~rsdinfo/english/index.html
    • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association of America
      PO Box 502
      Milford CT 06460
      Phone #: 203-877-3790
      800 #: 877-662-7737
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.rsds.org
    • Vasculitis of the Central Nervous System
      [email protected]
      None None None
      Phone #: 770-978-5636
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://[email protected]
    • Worldwide Congress on Pain
      Web Site on the Internet
      San Antonio TX 78249-3302
      Phone #: --
      800 #: 800-328-2308
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: http://www.pain.com

    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html