Disabling Condition: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

by Editorial Board on September 6, 2010 · 2 comments

in Bone & Joint Problems,Fibromyalgia

Social Security does not list these conditions but when severe they are similar to a musculoskeletal disorder which limits the use of the limbs (arms or legs).

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRDS)

  1. D you have severe burning pain in a limb occurring after trauma or surgery?
  2. Does the limb sweat, change color or temperature?
  3. Are you sensitive to light touch?

RSD/CRDS result from an injury, disease or even surgery to a limb (arm/leg).  It is characterized by severe but unusual pain in the affected limb.  It often spreads to the other limb.  It is thought to be a dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system (which regulates our involuntary physiological responses to stressful stimuli.)  Other characteristics of the disorder include the following symptoms of the affected limb(s): swelling, changes in skin color or texture, changes in sweating (decreased or excessive sweating), skin temperature changes, or abnormal pilomotor erection (gooseflesh), abnormal hair or nail growth (growth can be either too slow or too fast),  osteoporosis,  involuntary movements of the affected region of the initial injury.

Because of the discomfort, sufferers may become unable to use the limb.  If the condition spreads to another limb, they may have a condition which is just as disabling as joint impairments causing loss of use found in the musculoskeletal listings.

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Mirko Filipovic September 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for this great post. The info I have gained from your blog is truly encouraging

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