I belong to at least a dozen RSD support groups. This time of year, the number one issue is thecold weather. The cold, damp days cause the pain in our limbs to increase dramatically.
Here are some of the things I do to combat the cold.
Always keep the affected areas covered. Once the cold and pain start, it is much harder to get it down. Preventive measures are your best defensive. Cover up before you go out; don't wait until you are already out the door. If you do, you are asking for trouble.
If, despite all your measures, the cold has settled deep within your bones, increase your circulation. Massage, exercise (even mild), stretching, and walking will all help.
I use a parrafin wax treatment on my hands. I understand you can buy them large enough for your feet also. It warms my hands, limbers them up and gets the circulation flowing. Plus, it does great things for my skin.....
Use the newer materials (like Thinsulate ) for lightweight warmth. Most people with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) cannot stand any weight on their skin. I have found several of the newer materials can give warmth, without the heaviness. I have a jacket and a blanket all made with lightweight, yet warm material.
Check out the latest USB devices that keep you warm while at your computer. My computer is my lifeline; without being able to communicate via the internet I would got crazy. So, I bought a USB mousepad that warms my hands, and some USB slippers that keep my tootsies toasty! There are many places to buy these items so I won't promote any one store unless you want to contact me directly. All of these items plug into any USB port and start warming within seconds. I have never had any problems with them getting too warm either. I had been using a heating pad, but found it kept getting too hard after a short time no matter what setting I was using.
Of course, no article would be complete unless I mention the use of vitamins/minerals to keep your circulation moving. Anti-oxidants are excellent for this. I take fish oil, Selenium and my favorite CoQ10. I have noticed a dramatic increase in my circulation since starting these vitamins. I also take several others which I won't mention here, but will be posting a complete article on the supplements I have found to be helpful with my RSD, arthritis, and neuropathy.
Meditation is also a powerful tool. When I meditate, I concentrate on lying on a warm, sultry Hawaiian beach. Gentle waves rolling into shore, the warm sun on my face and my toes dug deep into the warm sand. Studies have proven the ability to warm your body temperature, just through the power of your mind. It takes practice, but it does work!
Bottom line is this. Don't let your RSD or any other illness turn you into a winter hermit. Use every precaution and protection possible and then go enjoy life.