Elbow / Wrist / Hand

Raynaud Syndrome

What is Raynaud syndrome?

Raynaud syndrome is characterised by a discoloration of the fingers and toes, usually causing pain.

Causes

The discolorations and pain develop due to a sudden contraction of the muscles surrounding the small blood vessels which makes them narrower thereby decreasing the blood supply to the fingers and/or toes. The exact cause is not yet completely clear. The symptoms can be brought on by vibrations or by cold.

Raynaud's syndrome comprises both Raynaud disease, in where there are no other causes for the symptoms, and Raynaus phenomenon, in which the symptoms develop as a result of other diseases such as scleroderma and SLE. This form of Raynaud does not usually develop until after the age of 40, and can even lead to ulceration on the fingers.

Signs and symptoms

In Raynaud syndrome the fingers and/or the toes suddenly become cold and pale. They then turn blue and eventually, when 'warm' again, turn red. This may be accompanied by pain or a glowing sensation. The symptoms may persist for 5 to 30 minutes.

How is Raynaud syndrome diagnosed?

The diagnosis is made according to the patient's pattern of symptoms.

Do I need additional examinations?

  • Diagnostic examination for other non-physical factors important for your pain, have already been done by yourself trough filling out your pain questionnaires.
  • A rheumatologist to establish the cause of Raynaud syndrome will examine you.

What are my treatment possibilities?

Multidisciplinary Treatment

Depending on the cause of your pain, your pain specialist will decide whether or not to embark on physical treatment. Based on the results of the completed pain questionnaire, additional examinations can be carried out and, apart from physical treatment, other methods of treatment will be suggested.

Non-physical Treatments

If the results of your pain questionnaire are abnormal, your pain specialist will offer you one of the non-physical treatments listed below:

Physical Treatments

Medication

Other Treatments

Interventional Pain Treatments