CRPS or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) occurs when there is an abnormal response to an injury, causing continued pain out of proportion to the injury, with unusual swelling, changes in blood flow and sweat patterns, and trophic changes (changes in the tissues due to lack of normal nutrition). These trophic changes include nail, skin and hair changes, loss of muscle bulk and bone loss. If not adequately treated in a timely fashion, permanent functional loss can occur. The “Stress Loading” program was developed at The Hand Center to treat this condition. The fundamental principle of this program is active exercise that requires progressive use of the affected extremity with minimal motion of painful joints. Load, not motion, is critical. Your hand therapist will measure your progress and modify the program accordingly.