Coping Strategies

It can be difficult to accept that you have developed a chronic medical condition that keeps you from returning to activities that you once enjoyed. You may feel that it is unfair how your life has changed.

Thousands of members of the RSDSA community will tell you that you can live a productive, rewarding life with CRPS/RSD. It takes some new skills, strategies and thinking to get you moving in a new and positive direction, and there are new things to learn all the time. Those who are recently diagnosed, as well as those who have had CRPS for many years, can keep improving their lives.

RSDSA offers you the resources you need to not only cope with CRPS/RSD, but to live well.

Here are a few things to consider:

Create a Team Strategy – It takes a village to treat and live well with CRPS/RSD. The first thing to do is to put together an interdisciplinary treatment team – with you as the captain. Depending on your needs, it may consist of your family doctor, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a pain management specialist, your caregiver/s (family and/or friends) and others. The team approach gets the best results.

Seek Alternative Treatments – Not all patients can tolerate pain medications and the possible side effects. Fortunately, there other options. Seek out counselors, perhaps a psychologist/psychotherapist and a nutritionist, who can teach you new coping skills for managing and controlling pain, including:

  • Distraction
  • Visualization
  • Meditation
  • Biofeedback
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Stress Reduction
  • Yoga
  • Anti-inflammatory Diets and other methods


Learn New Ways of Doing Things – As the old saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. This is a good phrase to keep in mind when coping with CRPS/RSD.

  • Physical and occupational therapists can show you new ways to do everything from tying your shoes to re-arranging your kitchen or workshop to make your life easier.
  • Get involved with the RSDSA community. The members have come up with ingenious ways of getting around their disabilities to reach their daily and long term goals. Ask about joining a support group or our Peer-to-Peer Program.
  • Get a service dog. Many CRPS/RSD patients are getting along much better with the help of specially trained service dogs, or other animals, and enjoying the unconditional love that man’s best friend brings into any household.
  • Learn more about How to Manage Brain Fog Caused by Chronic Pain by Peter Abaci, MD, Board-certified anesthesiologist and pain specialist
  • Read about Methods for Minimizing Pain Flare‐Ups Survey

Reach out for help and remain open to the possibilities. You will continue to learn new ways of coping and do them all very well.