Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS)

Source: www.butler.org

Reflex Sympathetic dystrophy is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Causalgia, Shoulder-hand Syndrome and Sudeck’s disease. RSDS is disease of the autonomic nervous system, affecting two or all extremities, shoulder, back, eyes and may spread from one part of the body to the other. RSDS is also a systemic disease involving nerves, skin, muscles, blood vessels, tendons and bones. The incidence of RSDS is connected to trauma (compartments syndrome, fracture, injury with sharp forces et. al), heart problems, infection or surgery.

Symptoms: constant chronic burning pain (stabbing, sharp accompanying by tingling, pain area are hot or cold and very sensitive to touch), inflammation (skin appears shiny, dry, red and increase in sweating), spasms in blood vessels and muscle of the extremities (swelling, dystonia tremor and body fatigue), insomnia/emotional distress, movement disorders, increased muscle tone and reflex, bone changes (demineralization, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and joint stiffness) and general weakness, increased fibrous tissue formation.

Mechanism of RSDS

Source: www.rsdfoundation.org

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a systemic drug having beneficial effect on all body systems affected with RSDS and especially in pain management for overall improved quality of life.

Treatment protocol:
A minimum of 20 HBO sessions at 2.4 ATA of pure oxygen pressure are recommended. Number of sessions needed depend on the seriousness of the condition and can be determined upon evaluation of the microcirculation. At BaroMedical, the screening of the clients and the progress of the therapy are monitored with most advanced equipment: Laser Doppler blood flowmeter, tissue oxygen monitor and digital camera.

Suggested readings:

  1. Lovisetti G, Lovisetti L, Favalli A: Hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of Sudeck’s syndrome, Proceedings of European Undersea Baromedical Society EUBS in joint meeting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands: p109-113, 1990.
  2. Lovisetti G, Lovisetti L, Favalli A: Hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of Sudeck’s syndrome, Undersea Biomedical Research, Abstract No.62, Supplement to Vol. 17, 1990.
  3. Oriani G, Tecchio G, Meazza D, Turati A, Tecchio P, Sacchi C, Ronzio A: The Sudeck’s knee syndrome: treatment with Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Proceedings from 10th International Congress of Hyperbaric Medicine in joint meeting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands: p163-166, 1990.
  4. Peach G: Hyperbaric oxygen and the reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome: a case report, Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine, Vol. 22, No 4, pp: 407-8, December 1995.
  5. Wasner G, Schattschneider J, Heckmann K, Maier C, Baron R.:Vascular abnormalities in reflex sympathetic dystrophy (CRPS I): mechanisms and diagnostic value., Brain. 2001 Mar;124(Pt 3):587-99.

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