Functional Neurology
of Middlesex County
Gregory Symko, D.C., D.A.B.C.N.
747 Main Street Suite 205
Concord, MA 01742
978.369.7070
Directions & Office Hours

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS)

If you have been diagnosed with RSDS, you know that it can be a horrible disease. The symptoms vary from a great deal of pain in your arm, leg, or torso. It can also include redness, sweating, or numbness. It is caused by a slow healing injury to a limb, which leads to chronic issues. Typical treatment has been steroids, pain medication and physical therapy. Research points to the breakdown of the body’s sympathetic nervous system. .

To successfully treat RSDS, a practitioner needs to understand how the body perceives pain.

There is a part of the brain called the PontoMedularyReticularFormation or PMRF. This is found in the brain stem and is responsible for regulating automatic bodily functions. This ranges from the heart rate to digestion and blood pressure. When a body part gets injured research has shown that it damages a part of the brain responsible for running that part of the body. If there is not appropriate healing the normal controls may be lost. Most RSDS situations are a breakdown in the PMRF and the affected limb’s communication. Thus all the symptoms that are associated with the disease.

My approach is to work with the patient to fix that connection. First I have to investigate as to where in the brain, things have gone wrong. It is also important to determine if the affected limb still has issues. This can involve anything from dietary changes to what is called nerve rebuilding. Treatment depends on the individual and what is wrong.

With RSDS, one size does not fit all.

Case Study