Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a neuropathic pain syndrome that could be difficult to treat if not diagnosed and treated in earlier stages. The term Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is currently replaced by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The etiology of CRPS is not clear, however majority of patients develop CRPS after orthopedic injuries such as sprain/strain injuries or after orthopedic surgeries, such as foot/ankle/hand surgeries. CRPS has two types, type I and type II. Type two is associated with never injury and is also known as Causalgia. With type I CRPS even there are nerve symptoms (such as burning pain, hypersensitivity, numbness, tingling) there is no associated nerve injury.
CRPS is a clinical diagnosis, and can be diagnosed and treated by experienced pain specialists. If your doctor diagnosis you with CRPS, he may recommend sympathetic nerve blocks, or stellate ganglion blocks (if symptoms are in the upper extremities) accompanied by aggressive Physical Therapy. Rehabilitation is the key for the treatment of CRPS, however on most cases patients may not be able to tolerate PT due to pain.