International RSD Foundation

"Dedicated To Helping RSD/CRPS Patients Worldwide"




Hello Fellow RSD'ers,

Welcome to the "International Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation" website. My name is Eric Phillips, and yes, I have RSD. On December 7, 1985, I was involved in a car accident that left me with constant chronic pain in my left foot and leg. Year after year doctors tried to identify the source of my pain, but each time they came up short of a proper diagnosis.

As time passed the pain moved up my leg, and my concern grew into fear; "When will it stop?", "What is happening to me?" Finally, after two and a half years I was diagnosed with RSD. The diagnosis brought both comfort of knowing I was not crazy, and fear of what RSD would ultimately do to me.

Well, I'm here to tell you that I'm still around and I still suffer from RSD, but enough about me. This website is designed to help you understand RSD, its symptoms and ways of obtaining more information to help educate you and your family.

Please read the topic “What is RSD-CRPS?” below and let me briefly explain the stages and symptoms of RSD.

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope that this website proves useful in your search for answers.

Best regards,



What is RSD-CRPS?

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), more recently known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a disease brought on by damage or trauma to the Sympathetic Nervous System. It can be brought on by an accident, as in my case, minor trauma or surgery  (i.e., arthroscopy of the knee or shoulder, carpal tunnel surgery, disc herniation surgery, removal of neuroma, rib resection, tarsal tunnel surgery, ulnar nerve surgery, etc.)

There are four stages of RSD-CRPS:

  • Stage I -Dysfunction
  • Stage II - Dystrophy
  • Stage III - Atrophy
  • Stage IV - Irreversible, Failure of the Immune system 

Below are some of the symptoms of RSD-CRPS:

  • Burning pain in the extremities
  • Chronic pain after injury or surgery
  • Cold feeling in the extremities 
  • Discoloration of the skin 
  • Edema (Swelling of the extremities)
  • Hypersensitivity to touch
  • Limited range of motion 
  • Muscle spasms 

Below are some treatments to avoid:

  • Amputation
  • Application of ice
  • Chemical sympathectomy (i.e., Alcohol nerve block, Phenol nerve block)
  • Improper nerve blocks (i.e., Repetitive stellate ganglion nerve blocks)
  • Radiofrequency sympathectomy
  • Spinal cord stimulators (SCS)
  • Surgical sympathectomy
  • Unnecessary surgery

As, you can see these symptoms are varied and unique. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD-CRPS) can be in the upper extremities, lower extremities, there is facial RSD and total body RSD. I know this is brief, but I have avoided an in-depth discussion on this page because I am not a professional. Although I do have an office filled with documentation on RSD from professionals from all over the world, and I would prefer if you obtained the information from the literature that they have provided me.

I have placed some of these informative articles that I have regarding Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) on this website.

I hope that these articles on our website will be informative and helpful to your search for answers regarding this complex disease we call RSD-CRPS.