Regional Pain Syndrome

Regional pain syndrome is a chronic pain condition that mainly affects women between the ages of 20 – 35. Also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, it is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system in which high levels of nerve impulses are sent to an affected site.


The causes of regional pain syndrome are categorized as Type I or Type II.

  • Type I – Develops after an illness or injury that did not directly damage the nerves in the arm or leg that is now affected. This is the most common type found in patients.
  • Type II – The pain will develop following injury to a nerve.


Symptoms of RSD vary from person to person and can change over time. It can also begin to affect other limbs. There are times when symptoms will go away on their own and other instances where medical attention is needed.

Common signs include:

  • Burning sensation in an arm or leg
  • Sensitivity to cold or touch
  • Skin temperature will be sweaty or cold
  • Color is skin can turn white, red or blue
  • Texture of the skin can be thin or shiny
  • Joints may swell and become stiff
  • Muscles may become weak or spasm