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Treatments

This is as complete a list as was known by the author at the time of its writing. As always before having any treatment, please consult a doctor who understand RSD and understands the treatment very well. Also, before having a treatment, make sure you research it on your own so that you fully understand the possible positive and negative results.

Amputation:





While it was once used, amputation is not and should not be used under any circumstances as a treatment to alleviate RSD. Unfortunately, however, there are still doctors out there who will do this.

Analgesics:





Medications that are used to alleviate pain. Most patients use these, but they are a small part of a larger picture when treating RSD.

Antidepressants:





While it used to be that all doctors believed RSD was a psychological disease, it is now known that RSD is a physiological disorder. Antidepressants, however, can be used to alleviate the emotional pain that can come from having RSD.

Bier Block:





An injection is made into the affected area, and a tourniquet is then wrapped around the affected area in an attempt to keep the medication in the area for a longer period of time.

Bio-feed back:





A treatment that is taught by a psychologist where the RSDer will learn to control some of the inter-workings of the body like its own temperature.

Calcium channel blocker:





Drugs that dilate the coronary arteries and increase blood flow through those same arteries. It is useful for high blood pressure, which can be a problem among RSD sufferers.

Capsaicin, Tropical large dose:





Large doses of tropical capsaicin, administered intermittently. This treatment may provide significant pain relief and decreased chronic analgesic dependence.

Diet:





For information on the RSD diet, see Dr. Hooshmand's Web site at http://www.rsdrx.com and click on puzzle number one.

Duragesic (Fentynal) Patches:





Used for patients who can not tolerate oral medications like morphine, anesthetists have been using this in surgeries for years.

Heat:





How helpful this is depends on each individual person. However an RSD sufferer should never use ice, as it will constrict blood vessels, making the pain worse.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:





Originally prescribed to treat underwater divers with the bends, this treatment is providing beneficial help to RSD patients. More studies are being done on this treatment everyday. This treatment is looking more promising with each patient.

Indwelling SNB - Continuous Drip:





A continuous Sympathetic nerve block usually performed by using an epidural catheter and dripping the medication into the body for hours or even days.

Lidocane Patch:





Helps to end extreme sensitivity and calms the central nervous system when it is hyper-excited.

Narcotics:





While extremely controversial, these medications are known to help numb extreme pain. For a conversation on the controversy surrounding narcotics, please click here.

Occupational Therapy (OT):





Therapists work with disabled people to find a way to go back to work comfortably. Occupational therapy works especially for those who are suffering with RSD in the upper extremities.

Pain Clinics or Centers:





Directed by a physician, these places specialize in pain treatment by using other doctors, nurses, and therapists who understand pain disorders. While they offer a variety of treatments, make sure that the clinic you are going to understands RSD very well.

Physical Observations:





One of the most affective tools an RSD sufferer can have is a well informed doctor, or team of doctors and specialists who work closely with the patient to find the best treatment or treatments possible.

Physical Therapy:





One important aspect of keeping RSD under control is to keep all of the sufferers limbs in as good a shape as possible. When working with a therapist, it is best to work with one who understands RSD and who will not do anything that would further harm the affected area.

Psychiatric Care:





While RSD is a physiological disorder, many patients find it helpful to talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist. This can help the sufferer deal with the changes that come naturally with having RSD and help to learn to cope with the pain.

Intrathecal Drug Therapy or Morphine Pump:





A small pump which delivers a predetermined amount of a drug or combination of drugs. Pain medications are delivered around the clock, which can significantly decrease or eliminate the amount of drugs that the sufferer takes to take care of their pain. Even medication that is given for break-through pain is not always needed. The pump is place in the body permanently but only after a trial run of the pump is put in to see if the medication works, and if so, how much of that medication is needed.

Rhizotomy:





Surgical deconstruction of a nerve root or the root itself in a certain place such as around the intervertebral joints in order to relieve pain. This procedure is not recommended by this organization as it is both extremely dangerous and irreversible.

Specialized medications for RSD:





There are many types of these medications and are discussed here.

Spinal Column Stimulators or Neurostimulators:





Planted under the skin, these devises send out electric signals to "block" the signals the RSD sends toward the brain.

Sympathectomy:





There are a couple different types of this treatment, including where the nerve is cut or burned with chemicals. These treatments have extremely limited good results. On the negative side, this treatment can have very damaging results. The treatment is, however, reversible.

The information in this section of our web site was provided by the writers at RSDhope.org. Fighting "4" Us would like to thank them for their continued help in the fight against the monster. Sincerely, Andrea Gianopoulos, Founder and Executive Director; Fighting "4" Us