Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), also called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), is a rare disorder of the nervous system that is characterized by chronic, severe pain. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy occurs when the nervous system becomes overactive and nerves send frequent or constant pain signals to the brain. It most commonly affects the arms and legs, but also can affect other extremities.
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy typically develops after an injury, surgery, stroke or heart attack. The cause of complex regional pain syndrome isn't clearly understood.
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›