RSD/CRPS is a condition that results when the autonomic nervous system does not function the way it should. Because the automatic nervous system regulates injury sites, people who have RSD/CRPS often develop it after they have suffered a specific trauma. The incident does not have to be severe in order to set-off RSD/CRPS symptoms. Some cases of RSD/CRPS develop after a needle prick.
Doctors don’t know why the body reacts this way to injury. As of 2016, there is no cure for RSD/CRPS, but one of the treatments utilized by our medical team in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania is Stem Cell Therapy. Stem Cell Therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of RSD/CRPS and even reverse the condition if it is caught in its early stages.
Symptoms of RSD/CRPS
The main symptom of RSD/CRPS is lasting pain that can range from uncomfortable to excruciating. It’s often described as “pins and needles,” burning or squeezing. The site of the wound becomes overly sensitive, and the pain can be triggered by many things or what seems like nothing at all. It may begin at the site of the injury, such as a toe and spread up your leg. It may even spread to the other leg.
Besides the pain, people with RSD/CRPS suffer changes in the color and temperature of the painful extremity. The limb can also swell up. This is because the damaged nerves in the area cause the blood vessels to dilate and leak, which interferes with the normal circulation of the blood. Other symptoms are:
- Shiny skin over the painful area
- Abnormal sweating in the area
- Clumsiness, abnormal movement of the painful limb, tremors, and bad posture
- Affected joints that become stiff and hard to move
Stem Cell Therapy
More and more, doctors are using regenerative medicine to treat patients. One type of regenerative medicine is Stem Cell Therapy. These are cells that can turn into specialized cells such as heart cells, liver cells and lung cells. We derive stem cells from the patient’s own body.
Stem cells are promising because they contain growth factors that allow them to grow naturally after they are injected. Not to mention that they are derived from the patient’s own body, so there is an extremely rare chance that the body will reject the stem cells. We usually harvest stem cells from our patient’s adipose (fat) tissue or bone marrow (from the pelvic bone). The collection is then treated to separate and concentrate the stem cells so that they can be injected into the area affected by RSD/CRPS. This is done as an outpatient procedure. The goal is to reduce the pain and stiffness and to stimulate the body to repair itself. Some patients only need one injection to experience relief, while some need more than this.
Stem Cell Therapy to treat RSD/CRPS is an exciting new frontier when it comes to regenerative medicine. Although it is not a cure, our office at East Stroudsburg, PA is pleased to be able to reduce the debilitating pain of our patients and allow them to return as fully as possible to their old lives.