Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Remedies

| Modified on Jun 08, 2021

Treatment of reflex sympathetic dystrophy ranges from natural supplements to dietary changes. Supplements that naturally block pain and reduce inflammation are effective for treating the condition. Likewise, dietary changes that reduce inflammation and eliminate trigger foods offer relief.

What is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy?

Also known as complex regional pain syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a rare disorder of the sympathetic nervous system. The condition is characterized by severe, chronic pain that often begins in the arm, fingers or palm of the hand and radiates outward through the body.

While the exact cause of the condition is not understood, it is believed that the condition is caused by excessive or abnormal responses of portions of the sympathetic nervous system. While the condition begins as chronic, radiating pain, additional symptoms include welling or inflammation, skin sensitivity, perspiration and fever.

Natural Treatments for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Treating complex regional pain syndrome involves methods to reduce inflammation and regulate pain. Natural options include nutritional supplements such as apple cider vinegar and turmeric. Dietary changes are also an effective treatment option for reducing pain.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar functions in two ways to relieve the pain associated with the condition. The tonic is a known anti-inflammatory compound that alkalizes the body and reduces pain. Apple cider vinegar also serves as a cleanser that eliminates fungus and other toxins that may be attacking the nerves and nervous system.


Turmeric functions as a natural pain reliever. The spice is rich in curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. When taken daily, the compound offers relief from pain and natural reduces inflammation.

Dietary Changes

A number of foods contribute to inflammation and chronic pain. Changing the diet to avoid these inflammation-causing foods can be an effective step in treating the condition. A balanced diet should include mainly raw, organic fruits and vegetables and eliminate artificial sweeteners, sugar and flour.

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a condition characterized by chronic, severe pain. While the condition is not entirely understood at this time, many natural treatment options offer relief from the condition. Nutritional supplements as well as dietary changes are among the most effective treatment options.

Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Nonni (Cleveland, OH) on 07/20/2009

Could someone please tell me if they have successfully treated RSD with natural remedies alone? I appear to be in the first stages of this disease and everything I read says that early diagnoses and treatment are critical. However I am learning that the typical way the medical profession treats RSD can cause it to rapidly become worse rather than better. Is anyone treating this on their own and been successful, and for how long have you had RSD? Also, I cannot take any acidic remedies as my system cannot tolerate them. ACV does not work well for me. Thank you for any help.

Replied by Azurezea
(Dallas, Tx / Usa)

I had RSDS and the medical people only wanted to do the nerve block/cortisone treatment - which I refused. They also offered a nasal spray of Salmon Oil called - Miacalcin 200 iu/ac by Novartis. That was the only thing that the medical did for me.

I used fresh, ripe pineapple to alleviate the pain and burning. The first serving gave me about 20 mins of relief. Then each succeeding serving gave me more and more relief. I stopped eating ALL FLOUR AND SUGAR PRODUCTS. Then upped the enzyme foods (raw fruits & veggies). Also began to use a stimulator at the nerve meridians to stop the constant cycle of pain between the brain and the hand. And used a scrub brush to go in circles on the floor for a few minutes each day of physical therapy. Pineapple is an anti-inflammatory and papaya is also full of enzymes. After a number of weeks, all pain and swelling/burning dissipated.

Hope this helps you to find some blessed relief. If this is not addressed within 3 months, it can become permanent.

Replied by Rose
(Pa, US)

HI I want to comment on the discussion of rsd I was recently treated w/ketamine their is a specialist in Philadelphia Dr ROBERT Schwartzman and Dr aradilis . there is a waiting list they are at Drexel university in Philadelphia .pa although I had to stop treatment some people have had good success and great results. the treatment is suppose to put you in remission its not a cure but it will cut the pain to almost non existent, I was on the waiting list for 3yrs, so if you're interested call them and get on the list, the sooner you get your treatment the better your chances of recovery

Replied by Mary
(Marlton Nj)

I have had RSD since a fall on ice in 1999. I have gotten worse each year and have problem with right leg cramps and pain down leg for over 6 months. Please explain how much apple cider vinegar and turmeric . I have ketamine injections that help. Take meds but want to stop and try more holistic choices. Thank you!

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Mary, meanwhile do some external Magnesium Oil and Epsom Salt baths together with whatever else you're doing.

Replied by Robert
(Seminole, Fl)

Could you share the formulae for vinegar and tumeric and the frequency of the dosage??? Does it work for you so far or is it too soon? My friend also takes ketamin and would like to get off it too. She has RSD for about 3 years and it is getting worse she feels even with more often ketamin treatments. Please excuse my spelling. Many thank- you's for your response.

Replied by Haley

My fiancee has been dealing with rsd for several yrs, going on 8yrs. She is still in stage one using vitamins, as many as her body can take and on diet of blueberries, pineapples, strawberries, blackberries, kiwi and few others. She has salmon 2-3 times a day along w a neurological cream for pain. And now having botox shot into the damaged tissue to kill the nerves that are overshooting pain.

So far her arm is doing better than the first yr of it. And lots of epsom salt baths n coconut oil n relaxation oil w lavender to rub on it. The days that they are rubbed on she feels amazing. And regular exercise for her arm on days it works just like the other arm n this yr she hasn't had a flair up, which is great!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Floyd (Fort Worth, TX) on 05/09/2006

Heinz apple cider vinegar cured my High Blood Sugar, Weak Muscle Tone, Burning/Tired Eyes, R.S.D. burning & pain in both feet. I have had reflex sympthetic dystrophy in both feet for 8Yrs. No burning, vry litle pain now. Blood sugar Averaged 200/ past ten years. Highest in last 4 Wks: 151. My eyes aren't tired or watering any more. One month ago, when I flexed my muscle on one arm, I could mash it nearly flat with my other hand. I turned 65 Years Old on the first of this month, I feel more like 40, or 45 Yrs. for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Replied by Steve
(Auburn, IN)

how much did you take and what frequency?

Replied by Frances
(Murrieta, CA)

I have just started taking the Apple Cider Vinegar for a host of conditions. Can anyone share more about the RSD being cured by this product? How much do you take and how many times a day? Has anyone else found anything else that works? Kind regards to all of you that have developed this site and for those that are willing to share.

Replied by Beth

I developed RSD from a vehicle accident (hit from behind) about 10 yrs. ago or more. The RSD has been in check until recently when I traveled to Las Vegas. The trip back and forth did a number on my system. I am totally convinced there is help with natural remedies for most anything and only take herbal supplements I read about the Apple Cider Vinegear and turmeric. Does anyone know how much of each and how often this should be take? I didn't see that mentioned in the postings. Would appreciate any input from RSD sufferers who have tried this type of remedy.

Replied by Bonnie
(Corpus Christi)

Please help me. I have it so bad in my hands arms knees feet please how do take the apple cider vinegar please. God Bless you

Replied by Toni

ACV (Organic only) is easier to get down with a little honey (local, organic) and you may also want to add some turmeric to the mix. I hope this helps.

Replied by Stephanie
(Brownsville, Ca)

How much ACV per day and in what ratio?

Replied by Teresa
(Purgitsville, Wv)

I have had RSD now for 1 yr. But my systems escalated very fast. Due to a routine bunionectomy going bad, when the surgeon, damaged my nerve... I am in excurating pain, my foot is on fire, and is also turning a blue/black color! I am refusing any medications, will not allow myself to become dependent on these. What is your recipe for the Apple Cider Vinegar?? Will try anything... Thank you so much for your time. TERESA <3 <3 <3

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Teresa, try clay too.

Replied by John
(Arlington, Texas)

How did you get relief for your rsd, with acv? Did you drink it in water every day? Or do you soak your feet in it? How did you mix it for drinking, or for soaking? Please help...I was just diagnosed with it. Thanks...

Replied by Amanda

Could I ask how you take the apple cider vinegar? Do you cook with it? Take a capsule? By the spoonful?

Multiple Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Susan (Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia) on 03/17/2009

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy:

I have RSD in both feet for 3 years, at least.

These things have helped me:
1. chiropractor but not too often.....once or twice a week. I have a degenerating disk that pushes on my nerves. When this happens, tingling and burning is the result.
2. never eating neuro toxins such as Splenda, Aspartame and MSG. If I eat MSG or Aspartame, my feet will swell, burn and have stabbing pains for 48 hours. Splenda will exacerbate the above and last for 1 to 2 weeks.
3. When I went on the Phase I diet I achieved dramatic, positive results and lost 60 pounds.
4. ACV kills fungus. Fungus can attack our nerves. The antifungal diet and herbal anti-fungals have made my RSD much less severe.

For the Phase I diet, go here: (it is the second question)

Quinoa (keen-wa) was also added recently.
The next thing I plan on trying is shark cartiledge to rebuild the disk. This disk is right where the nerves that control blood flow to the feet are.

Replied by Becky
(Elberton, Ga.)

I have had RSD for 10 years. I am so looking forward to the ACV helping. I just started this week. I am also over weight and looking for it to help that also. My only hold up is that I do take thyroid med. Hopefully I can get it all worked out together. Thanks for your info!!!

Replied by Bobby
(Ft Lauderdale, Fl)

My wife contracted RSD over 15 years ago. She went through 34 nerve blocks. If you are not familiar with this "treatment" the doctor loads a syringe with a chemical that deadens a particular nerve bundle. My wife's was in her chest so they had to use a six inch needle to reach it while she was awake. On 2 occasions they punctured her lung and she was hospitalized. Needless to say this "treatment" was very limited in its theraputic value. After the second near death experience she stopped. There was nothing that would help her and we tried everything. One day I was reading about a Doctor whose son almost drowned in a pool. He wasn't brain dead, but suffered severe neurological problems. He couldn't walk and didn't have the full use of his hands. The Doctor wanted the hospital to try a therapy he had been researching. The hospital refused because it was not authorized for the damage his son had sustained. The Doctor sued the hospital and forced them to administer the treatment to his son. After 45 days his son walked out of the hospital and had regained most of the use of his limbs. The Doctor said that the therapy reinvigorated the nerve tissue. I thought this might be a treatment for my wife. So I researched it as much as possible. The treatment itself is farily benign so we gave it a shot. Unfortunately, the treatment in the US is $200 for one hour. To be effective you need at least 20 treatments over the course of 20 days. Insurance companies will not pay for it as they consider this to be experimental. My wife is from Argentinia, so we contacted her relatives to locate a clinic there. We found one and they only charged $70 per one hour session. 4 years ago she went and had absolutely wonderful results. The buring sensation was reduced as was the overall pain. She still had to take meds, but at a reduced level. She has gone every year and just came back a few months ago after 35 sessions. The difference was astounding. The color had come back in the affected area and she could withstand wind and water. She wasn't cured, but her life has changed dramatically. I would strongly suggest that anyone with RSD try hyperbaric therapy. With this therapy you are placed in a sealed tube where the air pressure is increased by 1 to 2 atmospheres. While in the tank you are given pure oxygen. This is the same treatment that divers are given when they have the bends. Go figure -it works for RSD.

Replied by Ouch La1
(Los Angeles, Ca)

I am willing to travel. Can you post details on the hyperbaric treatment in Argentine?

Tamanu Oil and DMSO

3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Angel (Michigan) on 02/11/2016

I've had RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) for almost 12 years, and have gone through the standard treatments of blocks and medication. I'm thankful that I have a level of pain that is usually tolerable.

However I do have intermittent flare-ups of severe pain, and if I injure myself I always run the risk of a severe situation.

I don't believe there is a cure, as any injury can trigger the Neuropathic response that causes the pain. But I came across information on Tamanu Oil completely by accident while researching a remedy for a skin issue. Lo and behold, the article I read said it has been used for leprosy pain which is a type of nerve pain, and was very helpful.

So, when my next flare up came, I applied the oil- just enough to cover the painful area and a bit around it, and to my surprise the pain completely stopped within 10 minutes!!! I usually would use a Lidocaine patch for those episodes, but this was just as effective and zero side effects.

My mother has also used it for stabbing pain that she has occasionally, as well as for joint pain. She was very impressed as well.

With my original injury, I was not improving and was possibly facing a lifetime of agony when I contacted a holistic doctor. He told me to use DMSO liquid three times a day (prescription is best- it's more pure). At that time it was a life saver, it worked very quickly and allowed me to walk again and to return to work.

The Tamanu oil is easier because I can get it at a local health store or online, vs. calling a doctor. I recommend both products. The only reason not to use Tamanu is if you have a nut allergy, as it is a nut from inside a fruit (pretty sure about that).

NAC is also very important for RSD especially for a recent diagnosis/ initial symptoms. Vitamin C has been shown to be a preventative, so if you currently have it, it wouldn't hurt to take it regularly.

If this helps even one person, I'm glad to write this long post :)

Replied by Ruth

Thank you for your post, it has helped at least one person.

My daughter was diagnosed with CRPS in her right foot on 12th February. We have used Tamanu Oil on the affected area and she has noticed a decrease in her pain levels along side increased mobility in her toes.

Thank you again from both of us.


Hello Ruth and daughter,

Sorry I hadn't looked back to see if anyone responded to my post. Wow, you are welcome, and I'm so glad I was able to offer a suggestion that helped your daughter!! Believe me, I know how difficult CRPS is to cope with. I hope and pray that it will continue to help her. I also remembered a supplement I used called Nerve Formula from Trivita. It's herbal, so research if it would be safe or not.

Also, if she's not involved in physical therapy, it is helpful to regain strength and mobility before it's lost. Moving the affected area is very important.

Replied by Davis

Thank You So Much! I had a total right hip replacement June 13th, 2016. I complained about severe pains, swelling, tenderness etc etc, screaming from the pain, 2 trips to ER, multiple tests. Finally after 8 weeks a Pain ans Anesthesiologist sent me for a full day of testing at Baptist Hospital, I received a call to come in for my tests results, his initial statement was correct, I had RSD. How can a person who works 2 jobs, workouts 4 times a week, very active in the ministry be broken down to being stuck in bed with a rare very painful disease. My Bishop and 1st Lady both told me to look for herbs and natural remedies, this is the first website I've come across and I see there's an oil on here that helps.

Replied by Helen

I have found these comments very helpful. My daughter was diagnosed with CRPS a few weeks ago, as well as already suffering from juvenile arthritis. It is like being plunged into a dark tunnel. I am desperate to help her walk and dance again. She is receiving physio. I am going to look into the oil first. Thanks.

Replied by Heather Lynn

It's so nice to see that someone else has benefitted from Tamanu oil.... I wasn't sure if I was just imagining it.

I recently started making my own lotions and pain creams after learning about all the bad things they put in store bought lotion. So I spent A LOT of time on researching different ingredients based on its healing properties. And there was a lot of trial and error when it came to coming up with my own pain relieving cream recipe.

My miracle cream includes 5 different types of Butters (Including Tamanu Butter), and 3 types of oils. They are all chosen based on their effectiveness with inflammation, circulation/blood flow, helps with spasms, etc etc. It also makes my skin feel like silk, I highly recommend everyone to look into the products you put on your body.

Remember, anything that you put ON your body, eventually makes its way IN your body. Most of the fillers in skin care products are really bad for you and happen to be linked to inflammatory diseases.

For a quick DIY cream, try:

- Shea Butter: 1 cup

- Coconut Oil: 1/2 cup

- Tamanu Butter: (you can find on Amazon) 1 cup

- Hemp Oil: 1/3 cup

- Beeswax: 1 TBS

- (optional) Corn Starch- Incase it leaves an oily residue feeling. : 1-2 tsp

1) Melt everything in a double boiler (or crockpot)

2) Pour into a glass bowl and put in freezer for 30 min, until you see the top layer of your lotion has solidified.

3) Mix with a hand mixer for a minute or so.. Until it reaches a nice creamy consistency.

Pour into individual jars and place back into frig. until you want to use that jar.

Keeping your extra jars in the frig. Will allow them to last longer. :-)

I hope this helps! :-)

Replied by Teresa
(Seattle, Wa)

My husband developed symptoms of CPRS in his left arm and hand after a bad bout of pneumonia in the lung and a serious bacterial infection in his digestive tract. He has no diagnosis yet, but he's been getting trigger point injections with homeopathic Traumeel and lidocaine for 4 months. This treatment has helped the pain immensely. He recently consulted a neurologist who is still stumped by his symptoms. He has weakness also in the right triceps and has trigger finger (tendon issues) in the right hand thumb and forefinger, so the neurologist is wondering if there is a virus in the spine. She's considering a couple different tests and is referring him for physical therapy, which is important for the atrophy in the muscles.

Replied by Sissy
(Sumerduck, Va)

I had never heard of this oil. What is best Tamanu Oil and where do you get it? Thanks so much.

Replied by Laurie
(Boca Raton, FL)

Thanks for your post. I use Tamanu Oil, but have not tried DMSO. I'll have to look into it. But my question is, what is NAC?