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Treatments for RSD

Sympathetic Nerve Block
Some patients experience significant pain relief from sympathetic nerve blocks. These can be done in a variety of ways. One technique involves intravenous (IV) administration of phentolamine, a drug that blocks sympathetic receptors. Another technique involves placement of an anesthetic next to the spine to directly block the sympathetic nerves.
Surgical Sympathectomy
Another possible RSD treatment is the use of surgical sympathectomy. This technique, which destroys the nerves involved in RSD, is controversial. Some experts think it is unwarranted and makes RSD worse; others report a favorable outcome. Sympathectomy should be used only in patients whose pain is dramatically relieved (albeit temporarily) by selective sympathetic blocks.
Intrathecal Drug Pumps
An intrathecal drug pump is a device that administers drugs directly to the spinal fluid so that opioids and local anesthetic agents can be delivered to pain-signaling targets in the spinal cord at doses far lower than those required for oral administration. This treatment typically decreases side effects and increases drug effectiveness.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
The placement of stimulating electrodes next to the spinal cord provides a pleasant tingling sensation in the painful area. This treatment appears to help many patients with their pain.
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