Mysterious Syndrome Causes Chronic Pain

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Mysterious Syndrome Causes Chronic Pain

POSTED: 6:07 pm EDT September 24, 2008

According to researchers with the Mayo Clinic, nearly half of all Americans seek medical help for chronic pain every year. Many find relief but some of those who don’t are diagnosed with a complex disorder that leaves them imprisoned by their pain.”Sometimes I just feel like I’m waiting for my life to begin again,” said 29-year old Elizabeth Weiss.Weiss began suffering from pain after a relatively mild accident in 2003.

“It’s a sharp burning, like someone is applying a blow torch to my skin,” she said.For years, medical experts couldn’t explain what was happening. Then Weiss met Dr. Nicholas Suite who diagnosed her with a complex disorder that goes by several names, including Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or RSD.”Although the precise cause is unknown, RSD often occurs after an injury or insult that leaves part of the body immobilized,” said Suite.Medical experts believe the sympathetic nervous system goes haywire, scrambling the body’s pain signals.”The key with this condition is to identify it early and start with interventions such as physical therapy to hopefully interrupt the pain cycle,” Suite said. “The earlier we diagnose and address it, the better the chances of reversing RSD,” he added.For Weiss, even daily doses of pain medication have brought little relief. She’s now considering a risky treatment done outside the U.S. where patients are placed in drug-induced coma in hopes of disconnecting the faulty pain signals.”I just want to get better and help other people with RSD,” she said.RSD is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS.To find out more visit the following Web sites:

American RSDHope
Hope For Elizabeth
American Pain Society


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