"CRPS (RSD) is not a walk in the P.A.R.C!"

PO Box 20032, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2M 7W7

Our mission is to support, educate and inform persons with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) (formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, RSD), the community and the medical professionals treating CRPS, about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. The suffering of persons with this disease must also be recognized.



In 1995, the name Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) was changed by the medical community to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). The aim was to better reflect the nature of the disease and to unify the 30 or so confusing terms into one appropriate label for worldwide research purposes. Most doctors use the term CRPS but patients and families still use the familiar term RSD; we will use both terms.


  • There have not been any large scale epidemiological studies conducted in Canada or USA to date to give us an exact incidence of CRPS.
  • Figures from The Netherlands indicate the incidence of C RPS based on the medical records of over 900,000 Dutch patients which found that CRPS occurs 26.2 in 100,000 patients or approximately 1 in 4,000. In England the incidence of CRPS is estimated as 1 in 2,000.
  • Based on the Dutch statistics, Canada will have over 9,000 new cases of CRPS each year. In Ontario, the number will be over 4,000 each year so nearly 50% of new cases will be found in Ontario.
  • According to PARC's survey only 40% will be diagnosed in the first three months when the recovery rate is 80-90%. In addition, 66% see 3 or more doctors before being diagnosed.
  • Surprisingly in USA, "Fifty percent of cases go undiagnosed", reports Robert Schwartzman, MD, leading American neurologist and RSD/CRPS expert/researcher. oder term for CRPS.


  • What about Canada? Latest figures from Nova Scotia's Northside General Pain Clinic indicate that:
  • "1 in 60 has a lifetime risk of getting RSD/CRPS."
  • That is, over the course of a lifetime, 1 person in 60 can expect to contract this disease.
  • A women is three to four times more likely to develop RSD/CRPS than a man. Women 40-60 years of age are mostly affected.
  • The upper extremities are two times as likely to be affected as lower extremities. (See Eur J Trauma 2001:27:99-103 )
  • Children are also affected and the numbers are on the rise. Children generally have a better prognosis than adults.
  • For a further explanation, please see the WHAT IS RSD/CRPS? page or use our contact form: EMail Us!



Using the McGill Pain Index, many diseases are rated out of 50 on this index.

Causalgia means "burning pain", another name for CRPS.

The score for cancer pain is 28 and for CRPS pain, a whopping 42.


McGill Pain Scale





Due to an enormous lack of education about recognition of symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and management of RSD/CRPS, it is not well recognized in the Canadian medical field. Many doctors have never heard of RSD/CRPS or the diagnostic criteria (Budapest Criteria). Without accurate information, RSD/CRPS is quite often misdiagnosed, diagnosed too late, or no one believes the patient's pain. Many are told it is "all in their head ".

Let us clarify this last statement: the consequences of CRPS is felt in the brain. Research has shown that CRPS is not a purely psychological illness but due to the "danger signals" entering the brain from the body, parts of the brain suffer and cause various symptoms. More information from: Moseley, L. PhD and David Butler Explain Pain www.noigroup.com.  WHAT'S NEW?

As a result, many patients do not receive the proper treatment in a timely manner and they suffer needlessly. Why does this happen? It happens because doctors are not able to recognize the signs and symptoms unless they know the Budapest criteria. (Budapest Criteria).

Every doctor should have a copy. If you are a patient, please give your doctor a copy!





NOVEMBER 2, 2020. Colour the World Orange Day

To promote awareness of CRPS in the world, local bridges and landmarks will turn orange for the day. The CN tower in  Toronto and Niagara Falls will turn orange. For more details please see: www.colourtheworldorange.com

To take part in this special day, here are some ideas: https://www.colortheworldorange.com/engagementcrps

To download a brochure on Colour the WORLD Orange Day:




You can help us promote awareness by ordering orange CRPS Awareness Bracelets!

The bracelet text reads "RSD/CRPS Awareness" and "P.A.R.C.  www.rsdcanada.org". 

1. Contact your local newspaper and tell your story.

2.  Wear orange in November and/or your bracelet.

   3. Turn a building orange for Awareness day i.e. a local landmark, city hall,

    4. Hand out PARC flyers. 


Please see the DONATIONS page.

Thank you for your support.


SEPTEMBER 1, 2020.

PARC PEARL Newslettter will be ready September. 1.

Get your copy of the latest news on CRPS, latest developments and emerging therapies.

TOPICS: Floating, 2020 CRPS Research, LILT, Virtual Reality,Your Medical Record:Why is it Important?, Pain Medicine Training Program, Bits and Pieces.

Get your copy!




RESEARCH: Coming soon...!



Our warmest thanks to our speakers, Dr. Arash Taghvai, Dr. David Shulman and Dr. Tara Packham PhD (McMaster University) for their expertise on CRPS and their ability to communicate it effectively. Each of the speakers engaged the audience and patiently answered questions.Thanks to the audience who politely listened and turned off their cell phones so we could all hear effectively!

Special thanks to Jean Pamenter, PARC Director, who sponsored lunch and other conference costs.

OCTOBER CRPS Conference slides (Power Point) available from Dr. Packham and Dr Shulman.  Search the DOWNLOADS page.




DO YOU WISH TO CONTRIBUTE TO PARC'S MISSION AND GOALS?:  Do you wish to help further PARC's mission of informing everyone about the utmost importance of early diagnosis and treatment?

PARC's goals are:

  • promoting greater awareness of CRPS/RSD
  • providing encouragement and support for patients
  • holding events to further establish our mission of early diagnosis
  • raising funds for CRPS research
    PARC is a registered charitable organization. Please note that contributions of $20 and over are tax deductible.
    Click here to donate online. DONATIONS.

In addition, MEMBERSHIPS are now tax deductible. Click here.

PARC POCKET CARD: Our new wallet card with "Signs and Symptoms of RSD/CRPS" is here! The card says it all in one easy, portable format. WHAT'S NEW?

PATIENT OR PROFESSIONAL: Whether you are a patient, family member, friend or a health care professional, please visit our WHAT'S NEW    page for the latest research, treatments, drugs, or current articles.



Thought for the day:
“Whatever loss, pain or tragedy
you have experienced,
you can get through.”
Aimee DuFresne


I have been diagnosed with CRPS. Now what? 

Please take the time to read through our site. It was specifically designed with the patient and professional in mind.

Early diagnosis in the first 0-6 months is critical.

After reading about RSD/CRPS, if you suspect that someone may have this disease,

it is essential that he/she does not delay in finding an expert for prompt medical treatment.






The book launch was held in Montreal. It is an extensive Canadian resource book edited by Odon Productions (Les Productions Odon),.

It is about various pain conditions, treatments, and uplifting stories from pain patients. Moreover, it is:

"This work is also intended for all health care professionals

who want to learn more about the issues

and aspects specific to chronic pain 

and benefit from the experiences of their colleagues."

Pain conditions are written by doctors and health care professionals. Each testimonial shows how the chronic pain patient is living a life despite the pain.

There are several chapters on CRPS including "Living with CRPS", "PARC" and a testimonial by the Executive Director of PARC, 



Do you wish to help us make a difference in the war on CRPS/RSD?

We appreciate every contribution whether it is monetary or not.

There are many ways you can promote awareness where you live. Spread the word with PARC's help.

Monetary contributions are tax deductible. To donate and for some ideas, see the DONATIONS page.

PARC is a registered charity which is able to issue tax receipts for donations over $20.




EMail Us!

Last updated  November 1, 2020.

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