Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS) is characterized by pain out of proportion to the injury, edema, vasomotor and trophic changes, stiffness and decreased function. Active exercise that provides a sustained load to the extremity with minimal motion of painful joints provides the stimulus for resolution of this problem.
The Dystrophile provides a structured exercise program that can be carried out at home by the patient. It can be graded by resistance (up to 12 pounds) and duration (generally three to seven minutes three times a day). The timer and light are activated as soon as the patient reaches the preset resistance.
The patient is positioned on the floor in a quadruped position and pushes down on the handle until the light goes on. While maintaining this pressure, the patient moves the Dystrophile on the Dystromat or on a rug in a back and forth direction as if
scrubbing a floor. If the patient is unable to get on the floor, the Dystrophile can be
placed on a table.
No sympathetic blocks, sympathectomies, IV medication or other invasive techniques have
been necessary over a thirty year period utilizing this approach in a large hand practice.
Elements of the Dystrophile
- Handle : Patient grips the handle and pushes down until the light goes on. While
maintaining this pressure, the patient moves the Dystrophile in a back and forth motion.
- Timer Readout : Records in tenths of a minute as long as patient maintains the pre-set
- Reset switch : Push on the button to reset the timer to 0.
- Light : Switches on as long as the pre-set load is maintained.
- Resistance Knob : Turn clockwise to decrease pressure. Turn counterclockwise to increase
Caution : Avoid forcefully turning the knob beyond its limits.
- Resistance Readout : Resistance pressure is calibrated in pounds (lbs) and kilograms
- Battery compartment (underneath): Unscrew and replace with a 9
volt battery if light grows dim.
- Upper Pressure Limit : Internal set screw adjusts upper limit of pressure indicator.
This screw is preset at the factory and should never need adjustment.