Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

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.

Supporting Organizations

American Chronic Pain Association

P.O. Box 850
Rocklin, CA 95677
USA
Tel: (916)632-0922
Fax: (916)652-8190
Tel: (800)533-3231
Email: ACPA@theacpa.org
Website: http://www.theacpa.org

American Pain Society

8735 W. Higgins Road
Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60631
Tel: 847.375.4715
Email: info@americanpainsociety.org
Website: http://www.ampainsoc.org

American RSDHope

P.O. Box 875
Harrison, ME 04040-0875
USA
Tel: (207)583-4589
Fax: (207)583-4978
Email: rsdhope@roadrunner.com
Website: http://www.rsdhope.org

Arthritis Foundation

1330 West Peachtree Street, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30309
USA
Tel: (404)872-7100
Tel: (800)283-7800
Email: arthritisfoundation@arthritis.org
Website: http://www.arthritis.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

International Association for the Study of Pain

IASP Secretariat
1510 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20005-1020
Tel: (202)524-5300
Fax: (202)524-5301
Email: IASPdesk@iasp-pain.org
Website: http://www.iasp-pain.org

Irish Chronic Pain Association

Coleraine House, Coleraine St.
Dublin, 7
Ireland
Tel: 35318047567
Fax: 35318047567
Email: info@chronicpain.ie
Website: http://www.chronicpain.ie

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
Website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

P.A.R.C. Promoting Awareness of RSD/CRPS in Canada

PO Box 21026
St. Catharines
Ontario, L2M 7X2
Canada
Tel: 9059340261
Email: carlayoung74@hotmail.com
Website: http://www.rsdcanada.org/parc/english/index.html

Pain.com

c/o Dannemiller, Inc.
5711 Northwest Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78246
Tel: (210)641-8311
Fax: (210)641-8329
Email: editor@pain.com
Website: http://www.pain.com

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDSA)

PO Box 502
Milford, CT 6460
Tel: (203)877-3790
Fax: (203)882-8362
Tel: (877)662-7737
Email: info@rsds.org
Website: http://www.rsds.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  8/17/2007
Copyright  2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.