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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD and CRPS) Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I) and Causalgia (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type II)(RSD and CRPS)

Question for women with RSD only

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Unread 12-02-2012, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default Question for women with RSD only

If your RSD affects your upper body, what do you do when you need to wear a bra and you can't? Any alternatives to a standard bra, I can't stand the strap touching my shoulder, shirts already bother me enough. I have tried bandeu bras but they fall down a lot. Anything anyone has found to work for them? For some reason, the allodynia (hypersensitivity) has really increased in my shoulder area and I can't seem to calm it down. Even shower water hurts it beating down on my back, I could barely make it through a shower last night. Any suggestions or temporarily solutions to reduce the hypersensitivity? So frustrated.
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Unread 12-02-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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My RSD started in my foot and has worked it's way around my body.

When I first began physical therapy, my therapist begged me to keep wearing the same kind of socks, jeans.....basically to not change my clothing type. She said it would help to desensitize the affected area.

Oh how I have cursed her over the years as RSD has spread from toe to head.... but I thank her too... It still hurts A LOT!!!! BUT, I still wear the same name brand of clothes as I was 9+ yrs ago. My normal dress is jeans t-shirt or polo.....all cotton. If by chance I have to wear something different, I will go into a flair.

I hope you find something that works for you!
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Unread 12-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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I wear sports bras a lot because the clasps are so hard with my right (dominant hand) being my affected area. The strap hurts me quite a bit on a regular bra so even when my husband is available I still tend to wear sports bras a lot.
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Unread 12-02-2012, 08:35 PM   #4
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I went through a period where I couldn't wear a bra either. I went through desensitization therapy for my upper body and now I am wearing normal clothing again, including a bra. I still have times though where ANYTHING touching my skin on my upper body drives me insane with pain. When that happens and I need to wear a bra, I cut a Lidoderm patch in half and put the halves one on each shoulder where the strap of my bra goes. It gives me enough relief right where I need it that it helps.
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Unread 12-02-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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My DR and PT said not to change clothes like that because it helps with desensitization...but it is hard to clasp my bra with my right hand, which is my dominant hand, but i'm still doing it so my hand is still moving...if it gets too difficult, I might give the genie bra a try!
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Unread 12-03-2012, 03:07 AM   #6
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You could try an ahh bra or similar they are very soft and have no underwire. If you go into a proper underwear store and talk to the fitter they maybe able to assist with something. I have found certain materials do seem to cause more discomfort than others. the best to go for is cotton in my opinion I find anything that is fitting or tight causes problem, it really is a matter of finding what works for you. This is going to sound very strange but one of my friend who also has crps uses a binder which is generally for use by transgender individuals she says it is vey comfortable and uses it instead of a bra, my only concern with it is it is a compression vest which isn't always good for people with crps, but it works for her. Just have a look around and see what is comfy. I tend to wear bras which have larger straps as the pressure seems to be more evenly spread and I find they are berable
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Unread 12-04-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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I injured my left wrist/hand 6 years ago...I was left-handed. I won't go into the long details, but let's just say it doesn't work right, so normal bras are impossible for me. I've been wearing Fruit of the Loom tank style sports bras for the last 6 years. I can put them on with one hand when necessary. Now that the RSD has spread everywhere they do bother me, but I manage to wear them still...without my DD falling out LOL
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Unread 12-07-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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I have difficulty with the clasps due to nerve damage in the hand/arm effected with RSD. I generally wear tank tops. Men's style...plain white ones like hands brand,etc.

I agree with the suggestions for dealing with the hypersensitivity by continuing to use the same fabrics, etc. I was basically forced to deal with the hypersensitivity and still have my hand touching various things as I live alone and sometimes had no choice. I still have some sensitivity, but it is much less than it was.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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Front hook bras are great!

I use Lidoderm patches under my strap on the RSD shoulder. Now that I no longer work, I only have to wear a bra when I go away from home... so not very often.

Some front hook bras are "sleep bras" and they are usually made with wide straps and are pretty comfy.

Edited to add that the lidoderm patches work best if put on an hour or so before putting the bra on.

Last edited by daylilyfan; 12-07-2012 at 09:12 PM. Reason: additional info
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