Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute - Health Library
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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Treating Reflex Sympathetic DystrophyDistrofia simp¡tica refleja: Tratamiento

Treating Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Treatment for RSD begins with therapy that teaches you ways to move the affected region. But if your pain prevents this therapy, you may have other treatment first. No matter what the treatment, the sooner you get it, the faster you'll get better.

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Pressing down while making scrubbing motions helps you use your hand.

Physical, Occupational, and Hand Therapy

Physical, occupational, and hand therapy aim to improve movement, build strength, and reduce pain. Which therapy you receive depends on which part of your body is affected by RSD. The goal of therapy is to help you to learn ways to use the affected region as normally as possible. For instance, if RSD affects your leg and foot, you may work with a therapist to walk more. Or, if you've lost some hand or arm use, you may learn exercises to regain some of that function.

Treatment also may include desensitization. This involves rubbing different textures on the injured region. Heat or cold also may be used. Treatment can help you get used to things touching your hand or foot. This may help reduce pain in the long term.

Other Treatment

RSD is complex and painful. You may feel depressed or angry about having it. Psychological therapy and RSD support groups can help you deal with those feelings. Other treatment also may help you cope. Biofeedback, for instance, can make you more aware of your body's pain signals. This may help you learn how to control pain and the stress it may cause.

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Biofeedback can help you manage pain.

Medical Treatment

Your doctor may suggest certain treatment for your symptoms. The goal is to reduce your pain and to get you moving again. Treatment may include:

  • Oral medications to relieve pain

  • Nerve blocks to stop pain signals

  • Spinal cord stimulators to send electrical signals that block pain

  • Sympathectomy to destroy a nerve that's causing pain

Date Last Reviewed: 2004-10-21T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00

Contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 for your orthopaedic needs. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation.

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For your orthopedic needs, contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 . For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation. We...
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