Monday, August 09, 2010 Akiko, Community Member, asks

Q: What is the difference between Fibromyalgia and Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy?

I have been diagnosed with RND (reflex neurovascular Dystrophy). But, my Aunt has Fibromyalgia. We dont have much difference. So I was wondering if I have Fibromyalgia. But I don't know the differences between the two. Does anyone know the difference?

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Answers (4)
Cort, Health Guide
8/ 9/10 9:26pm

That's a really interesting question. There is is definitely overlap between the two and one wonders over time how the medical profession will view these disorders. Both often start with a minor injury that seems to trigger problems in pain processing. Both appear to involve sympathetic nervous system problems.


The main difference for me is how localized they are. While RSD can spread from one area into the other it often displays a kind of intense localization is not found in fibromyalgia. For instance, in RSD the affected limb can swell up, turn colors, become stiff and pliable and develop bone loss. Swelling in FM does occur in some people it is not nearly so prominent, color changes that occur as often and a core definition of the disease is that it affects multiple areas of the body. 


I wouldn't be surprised, though, if these disorders grow closer to each other as we learn more about them; one may very well be just a variant of the other. Good luck to both of you! 

Cort, Health Guide
8/ 9/10 9:32pm

Whoops!  My apologiesl - you are asking about RND not RSD. I don't know much about RND but the blood vessel connection is intriguing. While its mostly a theory at this point some researchers are looking into vascular problems in chronic fatigue syndrome, which, of course, appears to be related to fibromyalgia. Researchers appear to have been able to pin down blood vessel problems in RND - something that has not happened in FM. Still, there does appear to be a stress connection in RND as well as FM and CFS and we shall see, over time, how closely related of these mysterious diseases are. My guess is that they are quite closely related.

Akiko, Community Member
8/ 9/10 10:09pm

Thank you. I do get very fatigued. I am also very stressed. And I am very tired most of the time. My aunt has memory loss which she told me that the doctors said that it was part of the Fibromyalgia. But, I was looking more for a symptom list? I know that not much is known about either. But it would be helpful for me so I can live atleast a semi-pain free life. I am only in Highschool, and its much less stressful without pain. If you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. Unfortunatley I have abused pain killeres and am limiting myself. Tylonel, Ibuprofen, and naproxen dont work much with my back pain. But if you have a suggestion that is not involving drugs it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Smile

Guitarrgirl, Community Member
11/ 6/11 6:24am
Thanks for the question about RSD and Fibromyalgia. I am DXed with Fibro (plus all the other acronyms that go along with that) and disc degeneration and herniated discs from a car crash. I am also wondering if I could possibly have Lupus. I have also tested positive for Lyme. All these have crossover symptoms so it is hard to distinguish what is what. There is a long road ahead in learning about these painful diseases and how to manage the pain. I am looking into USCs Pain Center. It's all an overwhelming and frustrating endeavor to deal with being sick and exhausted all the time. Reply
Cindi, Community Member
1/22/11 10:02pm

I have battled FMS for almost 20 years and have enough things to go with it that if you counted your fingers and toes and added a friend and counted theirs that oughtta about cover it. I've tried everything. I tried oxy contin but did not like the consequences of possibly not having my next dose when it got time. I take Lyrica now. The main thing that helps me is a bio feed back machine and not alot of people have heard of them. It's like a tens unit but if you use this machine you have to put the tens unit away unless you're desperate. The machine is called a STS Dynatron. It was made for people who had lost a limb and it still hurt. Sometimes you can find a chiropractor that uses one or a physical therapist. Not alot use them. They are also good for migraines also but you can't give up if you get to try one. it took me 2 months at 5 times a week to get any benefit.

paul613, Community Member
1/19/14 12:26am

I was diagnosed with RND a little over a year ago. Since then I have almost gotten rid of the enitre thing. I had friends with Fibermyalgia and the biggest thing I noticed between us, was that no medication would work on me except Gabapentin. I tryed Hydromorphin, T3, Oyxicoden and known of them worked. I was however put on 1000 MG of Gabapentin. it helped a lot with the pain but made me like a zombie. Until I found a supplement called Gaba. I started taking that along with another suppleyment called Ortho Adapt, but the herbs I was looking for were Genseng, and Rhidiola. They worked almost immeditatly. About 4 months after started these products I stopped my medication, and am no longer on any pain meds for RND. Last Jan I was on 15-18 Meds at a time, and took a total of 27 diff meds over a 6 month period while the doctors studied me. My biggest suggestion is to take those supplements which can be found almost at any drug health food store, and healthy eating along with daily stretching, and hot showers. They help more those anything I could have ever imagined. Also try Acupunture, it only works on 1 in 7 humans, but if you are that 1, it will feel like a million bucks...

Josephine Cruz, Community Member
5/13/14 10:30pm

I would like to know how old you are.  I have a 12 year who was diagnosed about 3 years ago.  Last year he finally went to Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick and went through intense physical therapy.  He had outpatient physical therapy which helped before that.  At the time, he could barely walk and had pain in both legs.  It was a success!  He left the hospital after 10 days and was better. This January he had a set-back.  Thank God this time he only has pain in the arch of his right foot. I want to check with his doctor to see if it's OK.  I'm glad that you are feeling better and thanks for searching.  I hope this will help my child.  I will keep you updatedSmile

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By Akiko, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/13/14, First Published: 08/09/10