Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a chronic pain condition that is believed to be the result of problems in the central or peripheral nervous systems.
Typical features of this condition include dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected limb or body part, accompanied by intense burning pain, skin sensitivity, sweating, and swelling.
(Click Causalgia for more information on CRPS II.)
RSD can strike at any age and affects both men and women, although it appears to be more common in young women.
At this point, doctors aren't sure what causes it. In fact, in all likelihood, RSD probably does not have a single cause, but is rather the result of multiple causes that produce similar symptoms.
Researchers are currently looking at certain chemicals in the nervous system and the immune system for possible RSD causes.