RSD, which stands for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a condition that causes pain, tenderness, and swelling of one extremity or another, along with sweating, flushing, discoloration, or shiny skin. Some other names for the condition include “complex regional pain syndrome,” “the shoulder-hand syndrome,” “causalgia,” and “Sudeck’s atrophy.
The causes of this syndrome are undetermined, but events can trigger outbreaks. Some common types of triggers are injuries, surgeries, heart disease, degenerative arthritis, strokes or other types of heart disease, shingles, and certain types of drugs.
Upon onset, there are a few things that can be done to ease the symptoms. Applying a cool pack can provide relief for the burning symptoms, and exercise can ease contractions. Prednisone can be used for persisting symptoms.
This is another RSD treatments option, however — hyperbaric oxygen therapy has proven to be an extremely viable option to treat RSD. It is an FDA approved therapy and is accepted by Medicare in many countries. It is basically the medicinal application of oxygen at a higher level than atmospheric pressure.
The basic therapeutic principle of HBOT is based on its ability to increase partial pressure of oxygen in the tissues of the body. It also increases the oxygen carrying capabilities of the blow, which can be essential in the treatment of RSD. Indeed, people with dire medical situations, such as stroke, cerebral palsy and chronic fatigue syndrome often turn to hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment and find extremely favorable results.
Treatment is delivered in special chambers, and there are two primary types of chambers: monoplace chambers, which are designed to treat one person with 100% oxygen. Multiplace chambers on the other hand are designed to treat several people at once and oxygen is delivered through a mask.
The most common types of side effects from this treatment is barotrauma to the ears and sinuses, which are caused by a change in pressure. In order to minimize this risk, patients are recommended techniques to clean out their ears. Some patients experience small changes in their vision, but most side effects are minor and very temporary.
There is no reason not to try HBOT for RSD treatments — you’ve got nothing to loose and everything to gain!