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May 2022

Autogenic Training for reflex sympathetic dystrophy: a pilot study

Author(s): KORPAN, M., SARADETH, T., PATERNOSTRO-SLUGO, T., HEXEL, O., FRISCHENSCHLAGER, O., ERNST, E.

Abstract: The aim of this investigation was to test the benefit of autogenic training in patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Eighteen patients with reflex sympathetic dystrophy of the upper limb were recruited and randomized in Group A (autogenic training) and C (controls). All patients received home therapy, including elevation of the affected extremity, therapeutic exercise, and cryotherapy. In Group A, additional autogenic training was applied once a week for ten weeks. Before and at completion of this treatment period, patients underwent a clinical examination comprising measurements of limb volume, skin temperature and range of motion. In addition, pain was assessed by means of a visual analogue scale. The results show beneficial changes in both groups related to pain, range of motion and limb volume. Yet cross-sectional comparisons revealed no differences in these parameters. Only the changes in skin temperature showed significant inter-group differences. It is concluded that autogenic training may be helpful in certain aspects of reflex sympathetic dystrophy but its Potential value requires further study.


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