Sometimes even our best efforts to stay healthy can go awry, as there are many things that are simply not under our control, and there is still so much to learn in the field of medicine. And while do what we can to live healthy lifestyles, sometimes an illness or injury finds its way in. Human beings have complex bodies, and doctors and scientists are constantly discovering new things. Unfortunately there are still some things that are not quite understood, but the science continues to develop to at least treat conditions that we as a species are still learning about.
What is RSD?
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or RSD, might be caused by an injury to the nerves, surgery, infection or disease, trauma, or even radiation therapy. It is also identified as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, and it is a chronic pain disorder characterized by weakness, atrophy of the muscles, sensitivity to touch, changes in body temperature and skin color, sweating, swelling, and depression. Because the cause of the disease is not fully known, there is not a standard treatment for RSD, but there are many RSD treatment options to help ease the pain, increase mobility, and for the general management of the condition. Treatment for RSD pain includes options such as ice or heat applications, specialized baths utilizing wax or paraffin, and several different types of drugs and injections.
Another approach to treatment for RSD
One approach that has been a growing trend in treating the painful syndrome is hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hyperbaric medicine is the medical use of oxygen at a higher level than atmospheric pressure. The environment of high pressure increases the availability of oxygen to the body, and there are even hyperbaric pressure chambers that distribute 100% oxygen to the body. These chambers can be either flexible or rigid in structure. The direct compressive effects of the higher pressure also helps to ease the extreme discomfort. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy benefits can be applied to more conditions than just RSD. The FDA approved therapy has been used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS, and Lyme disease.
Managing a chronic condition
Sympathetic individuals may try to understand the pain or discomfort of a chronic condition, but what they may not realize is that the constant presence of that discomfort can easily affect other areas of your life as well. Depression can be a common companion of chronic illnesses, and having to turn down activities that you may have once greatly enjoyed is not an easy thing to endure. Some days are better than others, and if you can find new passions and interests that can help to take your mind off of the pain, things might be a bit more bearable. It is a shift in lifestyle, and exploring different treatments to find what works best for you is important in working to get back to the life you want to live.
A chronic pain disorder like Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is not an easy one to battle, but with new discoveries and advancements happening in science and medicine every single day, there is hope that it will not have to hurt for long.