The Australian RSD/CRPS Support Group
"Fighting Pain Together"


“Although no standard treatment for RSD/CRPS has been developed, prevention and early treatment of symptoms are recommended.  In most cases the earlier that the treatment begins, the more effective it is likely to be.” (3). Effective treatments for RSD/CRPS will vary from person to person, and may mean trying various things – some of which may upset the symptoms, especially the pain.  Sadly, at this time there is no easy way.

Treatments may include:

  1. Hydrotherapy (water therapy)
    2.  Gentle Exercise (if it upsets the pain STOP)
    3.  Hot packs – (it is commonly accepted that Ice will aggravate, however, a few RSD/CRPS sufferers have found that in fact ice helps!)
    4.  Acupuncture and other “alternative” treatments
    5.  Nerve Blocks
    6.  A recent increase in the use of ketamine Infusions has shown, for many, a decrease in pain and that allows individuals to reduce their pain medications.  However, like all treatments it does not work for everyone.
    7.  Relaxation techniques (yoga, visualisation, etc)
    8.  Medications, including Analgesics, NSAID’s, Anti-Depressants, Anti-Epileptic medications, Narcotics (for extreme pain, although sometimes narcotics won’t help)

“A lot of studies now show it is rare in Chronic Pain Patients, who take Opioids and Pain Medicine daily, to become addicted to them, even in patients with histories of drug abuse and/or addiction.  RSD/CRPS patients can develop a physical dependence on opioid drugs, but this is not the same thing as addiction, which is an aberrant psychological state.” (6)


An international consensus is emerging. Initiated by PMRI Director Professor Michael Cousins, a meeting was held in Montreal, Canada in 2010 following the World Congress on Pain. This meeting was organized by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and attended by conference delegates from around the world. They agreed on what has become known as the 'Declaration of Montreal'. This has been endorsed by the council of the IASP and states:

Recognising the intrinsic dignity of all persons and that withholding of pain treatment is profoundly wrong, leading to unnecessary suffering which is harmful; we declare that the following human rights must be recognized throughout the world:

Article 1. The right of all people to have access to pain management without discrimination (Footnotes 1-4).
Article 2. The right of people in pain to acknowledgement of their pain and to be informed about how it can be assessed and managed (Footnote 5).
Article 3. The right of all people with pain to have access to appropriate assessment and treatment of the pain by adequately trained health care professionals (Footnotes 6-8).” (7)

                              RSD/CRPS PAIN - COPING

With RSD/CRPS, pain is with you all the time, so it is important that you find ways to help you cope, especially with “flare-ups”, but also with day to day living with pain.  RSD/CRPS pain is not simply one pain, so you may need to develop more than one way of coping.

Here are some ideas that may help you:

  • Do a distracting activity – reading, handiwork, Sudoku or a crossword, computer games, etc
  • Humour (laughing releases endorphins, the body’s “natural” pain-relievers)
  • Get involved in conversation ( it helps to talk about something other than pain)
  • Listen to music (something soothing or cheerful)
  • Do deep breathing or meditation exercises
  • Avoid stressful situations if possible
  • Reduce tension by whatever means (even crying or yelling)
  • Heat (be careful not to burn yourself)
  • Notice the control you do have (write it down)
  • Spend time in a quiet room
  • Ask for support from others.” (4)

Depression and suicide are major problems for those with RSD/CRPS.  As it affects the life of the sufferer, and those close to them, often disrupting their live​​​​​​​​​​s completely, depression can also be a problem for family and/or carers.  Also, living with chronic pain is very difficult.   If the sufferer feels that no-one believes in them, suicide can seem to be the only answer.  They feel as if there is no hope.



This site is for general information only.  I am not a Medical Professional but I do live with RSD/CRPS and so have a good understanding of the issues of this condition.  Information here is to be used as a guide only and before trying any treatments you should consult with your GP and/or Specialist.  The Australian RSD/CRPS Support Group accepts no responsibility for an individual’s choices after reading the following information.


Tracy Pitman​

Information Co-Ordinator

PO Box 9



Email – [email protected]

Phone – 08 85 811 007

Mobile – 0401 794 884 (send text only with your number and I will call you back)​

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