RSD, also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), is a rare illness that causes severe pain, muscle spasms, intense sweating, skin discoloration, headaches and extreme sensitivity to light and touch. No wonder those with RSD also suffer from depression!
Frequently, RSD begins following an injury or trauma. Researchers don’t fully understand what causes it, although one study has suggested RSD results from a disorder of the small blood vessels that provide oxygen to the muscle cells.
Most RSD sufferers struggle with a way to cope with their pain and other symptoms. They frequently require painful injections, narcotics, or surgical implants. Fortunately, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can bring pain relief, and often enables RSD patients to end reliance on shots and addictive pain meds entirely.
Many of our patients with RSD report that following the first few HBOT sessions they are able to get a full night’s sleep for the first time in years. Their brain fog lifts, they require less medication, and their mood improves. Swelling in their arms or legs goes down, and, with physical therapy, their muscles regain strength. Our RSD patients return to doing things that give their lives meaning and lead happier, more productive lives. Often, they resume their prior occupations.
Unfortunately, most RSD/CPRS sufferers only receive pain management. Doctors prescribe various narcotic pain killers and antidepressants. In addition, RSD patients often have injections in the neck called stellate ganglion or sympathetic blocks to treat localized head, neck, chest or arm pain. A few RSD patients respond well quickly, but others will require the expensive shots weekly or monthly for the rest of their lives.
If an RSD patient fails to respond to these sympathetic blocks, doctors refer them for morphine pump implants or spinal stimulators which cost $70,000 to implant, and require ongoing monthly physician monitoring in order to make necessary adjustments. Pain management specialists often tout the success of these treatments. But if they are so successful, why do RSD/CPRS patients require 50-200 sympathetic blocks, and why do spinal stimulators and morphine pumps so often fail to control their pain?
HOW HBOT WORKS FOR RSD
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to break the pain cycle. During sessions in a pressurized chamber, a patient breathes in pure oxygen. As the oxygen floods their bloodstream, swelling goes down and healing begins to occur. HBOT is painless, safe and cost-effective.
Is HBOT Right for You?
If you’d like to meet for a short visit with Dr. Spiegel to see whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy could improve your RSD/CPRS, simply call our office at 727-787-7077 or click here. A member of our staff will confirm your appointment soon.
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