I hope you don't mind the cheery heading, but, for many of us, there's often not much to feel cheery about, so if this puts a smile on just one person's face, it's well worth it.

We ALL have experienced the frustration, fear, isolation, and depression that usually follow a diagnosis of CRPS/RSD. The average number of healthcare workers seen to obtain a diagnosis is still seven. The time invested in going through this almost always chews up the window of opportunity (usually a couple of months) in which our CRPS could have been cured, robbing us of valuable energy in the process. I sincerely hope that you needn't follow this path.

This page exists for the first-time RSD patient (although everyone's welcome!), suggesting links and documented facts so that the visitor can start to feel more empowered by learning about this illness. As with most rare diseases, one of our big tasks is knowledge, then education (I'm including your physicians who are ignorant of RSD and thus desperately in need of enlightenment).

American RSDHope (that's their logo to the left), which I think is the best article-oriented CRPS site on the web, has a great page called "Introduction to CRPS" - you should definitely check it out!

Is this your first exposure to CRPS/RSD; do you feel overwhelmed?

    We know well that if the first answer is "yes", then so is answer #2. If so, please click here for an excellent slideshow, produced by Johns Hopkins University Hospital, one of the foremost treatment facilities for chronic pain, entitled "Diagnosis and Treatment Options for CRPS". It should answer many of your questions and help allay any unfounded anxieties and ease founded worries. We know, personally, the fear, confusion, and thirst for accurate data that accompany a diagnosis of CRPS/RSD.

HealthCommunities.com sponsors a site with an excellent overview of RSD/CRPS, very well suited to people just learning about the illness, with many additional links to other useful sites.

Also! RSDSA publishes a 4-page "Press Kit" (pdf) - a concise summary of CRPS and loads of links to useful web sites!

Finally, WebMD has a great slideshow called "Chronic Pain Causes and Solutions" - excellent for those new to this area.

There's a cute little collection of videos that various organizations have produced to introduce new folks to CRPS. There are eight different presentations, which can either be played on the site or can be downloaded in your choice of MP3, 3GP, or MP4 formats. Check it out; it's really interesting!

Many large, well-developed health sites feature succinct, well organized articles about CRPS written specifically for a lay audience. As always, a gold star means that, in my opinion, the article is unusually excellent; multiple stars mean what you'd expect..

Site Title
Medical Center
SUPERLATIVE multimedia presentation by the world experts. See this, regardless of your experience; you won't regret it!
Painedu.org Written in first person by a caring, empathetic pain physician. A good choice for a "first exposure" to CRPS articles.
Practical Pain Management
Substantial review on all aspects of CRPS, written in an engaging style that makes reading it quite enjoyable.
Extensive, well-indexed site which many other sites use as a primary reference - that's real clout!
Pain Management Health Center WebMD, LLC. Similar to above; only the tone of the sites is different.
Purdue Pharma
Excellent information hub - be aware, fwiw, that PurduePharma is the manufacturer of OxyContin®.
CRPS Advisory
A brief but authoritative summary of RSD that truly makes no judgements about the topics it summarizes - read through it; the lack of any bias at all is almost unsettling!
Sponsored by a lawyer group, the site devotes equal, high quality space to clinical issues and legal topics. If I faced legal issues like WC, disability, etc., I'd start here.