RSD / CRPS Specialist

Mullica Hill Advanced Therapies

Ketamine Therapy Clinic located in Mullica Hill, NJ

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) can cause severe, debilitating, and chronic pain that worsens over time. For fast, effective relief from the pain, Rick Pescatore, DO, FAAEM, and Joseph Cesarine, MD, offer a variety of personalized interventional therapies, including ketamine infusions, nerve blocks, and advanced non-opioid analgesics, to block pain signals at all levels. Located in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, the ketamine therapy clinic can help you get out of pain and get your life back. Learn more about the advanced treatments available for RSD by scheduling a visit online or by phone today.

RSD / CRPS Q & A

RSD Q & A

What is reflex sympathetic dystrophy?

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a type of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) that causes severe, chronic pain. Symptoms of RSD include:

  • Pain in an arm, shoulder, leg, or hip
  • Stiffness and discomfort in the affected limb
  • Burning sensation in the affected limb
  • Weakness
  • Extreme sensitivity in the affected limb

Most often, RSD presents gradually over several weeks or months with increased discomfort and disability. In some cases, RSD may occur suddenly and cause more severe pain and disability. RSD is more common in women than men and typically presents in patients between the ages of 40 and 60.

What causes RSD?

The exact cause of RSD is unknown, though researchers hypothesize that it may be triggered by injury to the nerves in the affected limb, trauma, surgery, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, infection, or radiation therapy. With RSD, the sympathetic nervous system produces abnormal or excessive pain signals in the affected limb.

The sympathetic nervous system is normally responsible for increasing heart rate, constricting blood vessels, and increasing blood pressure. In patients with RSD, these additional symptoms may be present, but the associated pain is the primary concern.

What types of treatment are available for RSD?

Early treatment for RSD provides the most benefit, though if you’ve been suffering from chronic RSD symptoms for three to six months or longer, you can still benefit from different therapies, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Glucocorticosteroid drugs
  • Prescription medications that block nerve signals, including beta blockers, vasodilators, and anticonvulsants
  • Surgical intervention

If you’ve tried the traditional RSD treatment without success but want to avoid surgery, the Mullica Hill Advanced Therapies team offers ketamine infusions for their strong analgesic benefits and fast-acting abilities.

How can ketamine help RSD pain?

Ketamine is an analgesic, or pain-relieving drug, used most often in emergency room settings. As emergency room physicians and pain management specialists, the team provides this therapy at their out-patient clinic for your convenience.

Ketamine works by blocking certain receptors that receive pain signals within the brain and spinal cord. When the brain doesn’t receive pain signals, it doesn’t sense pain. Current research has shown that ketamine, when administered via injections, intravenous fluids, inhalation, or orally, can relieve pain immediately in 69% of cases. It can also reduce the need for other analgesic medications and may provide lasting pain relief for weeks or months, depending on how your body metabolizes the medication.

Get help for your reflex sympathetic dystrophy symptoms at Mullica Hill Advanced Therapies by scheduling a visit online or calling now.

CRPS Q & A

What is complex regional pain syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that typically affects one limb, usually an arm, leg, hand, or foot. The pain can last six months or longer and is often the result of an injury or surgery.

Symptoms of CRPS include:

  • Prolonged, severe, and possibly constant pain
  • Pain that spreads throughout an entire limb
  • Increased sensitivity in the affected limb
  • Pain may transfer to the opposite limb on the other side of the body
  • Changes in skin temperature and color
  • Swelling in the affected limb
  • Abnormal sweating pattern
  • Changes in hair and nail growth
  • Joint stiffness
  • Decreased ability to move

Symptoms may be mild and can go away on their own, though in most cases the pain is moderate to severe and can last months or years. In severe cases, CRPS pain is chronic and can last a lifetime without treatment.

What causes CRPS?

CRPS develops when there is damage to or malfunction of the peripheral or central nervous systems. In 90% of cases, this is due to trauma from an injury or surgery. With CRPS, the normal nerve signals between the body and brain get interrupted and abnormal signaling occurs, which causes a variety of widespread symptoms.

CRPS can also affect the blood vessels in the injured limb, leading to changes in skin color and temperature. The nerves that control dilation and constriction of blood vessels malfunction and can cause an increase or decrease in blood flow to the affected limb.

CRPS is divided into two types: CRPS I and CRPS II. In CRPS I, sometimes called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, there’s no confirmed injury to the nerves in the affected limb. In CRPS II, also called causalgia, there’s an associated, confirmed nerve injury in the affected limb.

How is CRPS diagnosed?

There is not a test for CRPS, so it’s a diagnosis of exclusion. The doctors perform a series of physical exams, orthopedic tests, and specialized tests — including imaging and blood work — to rule out other potential causes of your pain before diagnosing you with CRPS.

What treatment options are available for CRPS?

At Mullica Hill Advanced Therapies, the team offers advanced therapies for treating CRPS pain that are highly effective, including:

Intravenous ketamine

Small doses of intravenous ketamine can significantly reduce pain without the need for other analgesic medications.

Intranasal analgesia

Inhaling low doses of ketamine can also control pain without the need for opioids or injections.

Transmucosal analgesia

Oral doses of fentanyl have similar analgesic effects to ketamine and can be easier for some patients to take, compared to injections or IVs.

To determine if these therapies can help with your CRPS symptoms, schedule a consultation today by calling or using the online scheduling tool.