RSD or reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome is a rare disorder affecting the sympathetic nervous system. Although it can affect any part of the body, RSD in the leg is common. 

What happens in RSD?

RSD occurs when the nervous and the immune systems malfunction as a result of tissue damage from trauma. The damage can cause the nerves to misfire, sending constant pain signals to the brain. Hence, one of the common symptoms of patients with RSD is chronic, severe pain. 

Symptoms of RSD

RSD in the legs may occur in one or both legs. Initially, the patient experiences burning pain. Aside from the pain, there can also be skin swelling and inflammation. The skin can be painful to touch and can be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. The affected limb of RSD can also perspire easily and is warm to touch.

Diagnosing RSD

There is no specific method for detecting RSD, making it challenging to diagnose. The methods used by physicians to diagnose the syndrome are meant to rule out other conditions.  

To help them diagnose the condition, physicians conduct a thorough physical examination and may do one or a combination of these: bone scans, X-rays, skin sensitivity tests, MRI scan, nerve conduction studies, and thermography. 

Managing RSD in the Legs

RSD in the legs can be managed in different ways. It can be through medications (antihypertensive, nerve pain drugs, muscle relaxant), therapy (biofeedback, physical therapy), a medical procedure (nerve block), and self-care.  

The management plan for RSD will depend on the severity of one's condition. Mild cases can be managed through self-care methods such as the use of compression garments. 

The use of compression garments can be helpful as it can help in alleviating the swelling and pain associated with the syndrome. 

If you have RSD in the legs, Bioflect Therapy Garments can help. We have a wide range of compression garments that can help manage your symptoms such as pain and skin swelling.  

Image: Allan Doyle via Flickr 

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