Raynauds Disease is a condition that causes a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the extremities – namely the fingers and toes.
Typically, this narrowing is an exaggerated response to either cold temperatures or stress.
HOW DOES RaYNAUDS DISEASE PRESENT TO A PHYSIOTHERAPIST?
Raynauds usually presents as a colour change in the fingertips or toes. They will often initially turn from white, to blue. The affected areas may begin to feel cold, or may also experience sensation changes such as burning, tingling, and eventual numbness. When the circulation is restored, the area may turn pink or red, and experience a burning or prickly feeling.
In most cases Raynauds is an inconvenience, however in severe cases the prolonged lack of blood supply may cause ulcers or gangrene to develop.
Reynaud’s can present as primary or secondary. Primary Raynauds, or Raynauds disease, is a condition that has no specific cause. It typically presents on its own.
Primary Raynauds is more common, and usually has less serious implications compared to secondary Reynaud’s.
Secondary Raynauds, or Raynauds Phenomenon, occurs as an effect that is related to another underlying cause. Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, and scleroderma are all conditions that may cause Raynauds-like symptoms. Secondary Reynaud’s may also be a result of injury to the arteries themselves, or exposure to chemicals that can cause thickening of the arterial walls, such as smoking.
Raynauds treatment should always begin by addressing the underlying cause. Keeping hands and feet warm or promoting movement of the area may increase the blood supply.
Your GP may issue medications in serious cases to assist with opening up and relaxing the blood vessels.
Interested to Learn More?
Located in Newmarket, Brisbane, our Physiotherapy Brisbane Northside team is proud to be a part of this health community. If you would like to learn more about Raynauds disease or Raynauds treatment come and see us at Pivotal Motion Physiotherapy today! Book an appointment online or call us on 07 3352 5116.