Living with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS) isn’t always a walk in the park. When you’re first diagnosed, you might have a lot of questions. Researching what RSD or CRPS is easy – you can go online, or perhaps your doctor will tell you all about it – but there are few resources that will tell you what it’s like to live with RSD/CRPS on a daily basis. What should you be aware of? What should you expect? What are some important habits to adopt? We have a list of daily tips for RSD/CRPS for you, right here:
Don’t Give Up Exercise
When the pain comes and goes, it may be difficult to get up and exercise. However, light to moderate exercise every other day (targeting the areas that are affected by your RSD/CRPS) can help you manage your pain and uphold your strength. Habitual walking, stretching and other restorative therapies are definitely go-to exercises.
Monitor a Healthy Diet
Generally, it’s always a good idea to eat well. It’s good for your overall health and body function. But choosing the right food can also make life easier for RSD/CRPS patients. For instance, you want to avoid foods that decrease blood flow, which include chocolate and coffee. You also want to avoid nightshade vegetables, like potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes. And as a good rule, it’s best to be strict with your food allergy – as anything that challenges your immune system can cause a more problems than necessary.
Be Aware of Hypersensitivity
RSD/CRPS can ignite hypersensitivity in some patients. The slightest sensations can intensify or cause pain. For instance, if you’re in a moving car or listening to live music, the vibrations will become much more noticeable. This is also true for light breezes, drafts or changing weather conditions. RSD/CRPS reduces blood flow to the skin, so keeping warm might be a quick solution to some of these problems.
Manage Stress Levels
Stress and any sort of tension can make your RSD/CRPS symptoms much worse. This is because stress is monitored by the same system that causes RSD/CRPS. Invest some time into breathing exercises, get plenty of sleep, and/or attend counselling sessions. Whatever you need to do to get support and find your way through the rough patches should become a priority. This might also mean taking up a simple hobby or activity to clear your mind and relax. This is also a great way to keep yourself busy with something other than the RSD/CRPS symptoms.
Retain a Good Relationship with Your Doctor
Finding a doctor that can help with your unique condition can be tricky, but once you do, ensure to keep up a good relationship. Touch base with how you’re feeling, what your experiencing, and any other help you might need. Being open with your doctor may help you improve your condition in many ways.
At the end of the day, it’s most important to listen to your body. You are the only one that experiences it day-in and day-out. You need to be able to live with the condition, and not let it control your life. Make decisions that will help you, and don’t forget to pay attention to the little things that will help you maintain a happy lifestyle.
At MJA Healthcare, you are not alone on your RSD/CRPS journey. Contact us at 570-534-4949 to see how we can help.