Hello! Welcome to my site; I'm glad you visited! (Yeah; the photo really is me!)

I've been carrying out scientific literature research on RSD/CRPS for over 17 years, which is how long I've had it myself. Being a scientist by training and predilection, I organize sources of information so I can find them again easily; these days, a web page is a great way to do it. After awhile, in the early 2000's, I decided to set it up as a functioning web site so it could be shared with anyone who might have a need or just be curious.

I have a Ph.D. in medicinal and organic synthetic chemistry from Northwestern University, and I'm currently a Professor of Chemistry at Eastern Illinois University. I had to leave that job in January of 2007, due to RSD-related symptoms, and I remained on total disability until about 6 mo. ago. Fortunately, I set things at the Univ. of IL so I could still have access to all of the scientific journals I might need, so I can still do very effective literature research from home.

My RSD story is fairly typical - it took a long time to get diagnosed, which made curing it quickly (the only way it can be cured) impossible. I've had a series of epidural spinal blocks, a chemical sympathectomy, an implanted Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS), and most relevant drugs you could name. At my worst, I was taking 90mg of methadone and 120mg of oxycodone daily just to function.

During January of 2010, a truly incredible thing happened. My RSD symptoms started lessening....just a little, but unmistakable. Then the rate of what seemed like a reprieve, if not a remission, increased, and by the end of the spring I'd cut both of my opioid scripts by 1/3 and decreased the doses on every other medication.

Now (June 2014), I'd say I'm around 90% in remission. I still fight a lot of fatigue; it feels worse than I remember from RSD, and it's not tiredness - I can't sleep it away. But although it may sound like it, I'm not complaining, much.

I've thought, analyzed, recollected, and tried everything I can think of to try to piece together what might have caused this great thing. But, nothing has come up. All three of my main healthcare providers are thinking about it, too. I'd really like to find out why this happened, so 1. I can keep doing it, and 2. I can share it with the millions of other RSD sufferers and perhaps buy someone else a reprieve.

That's the executive summary! Feel free to write with specific questions, suggestions, effusive praise, or, especially, any errors you find in the web site. Thanks for visiting, and GOOD LUCK in your struggle with chronic pain, whatever it may be!

Prof. Howard Black
thblack at gmail dot com


Have you, or do you know anyone who has, successfully gone into complete remission from CRPS/RSD after an extended period of the illness (say, five years)? If so, please email me very soon! We're identifying as many such people as possible for the first survey-based scientific investigation of the phenomenon.
(Click "Webmaster" at the bottom left of the first page - or here!)

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