Rehabilitation program for the Aglodystrophy

Algodystrophy is a particular condition that can affect any part of a limb. It is a chronic regional pain syndrome that often appears after a trauma (even minor) or a medical complication. Algodystrophy involves the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic nervous system division). While this syndrome is not yet well understood, medical literature provides a list of treatments. Montclair Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Center offers a rehabilitation program especially for algodystrophy. The program includes regular treatments of three to five times weekly. Early action is best for an optimal recovery (immediately following the diagnosis).

The goal of the rehabilitation is to decrease pain, edema and stiffness of the affected limb, to limit the trophic issues and maximize function. The fundamental goals of the rehabilitation are to gain and maintain a range of motion in a pain free zone. The rehabilitation hould be gentle and is often prescribed for a prolonged period of time (often more than 12 weeks). The program at the Montclair Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Center includes the following elements:



  • Teaching about edema (ie: elevation of the affected limb, reducing weight bearing, etc.);

  • contrast and/or scottish baths (hot-cold);

  • thermotherapy (hot fomenting, paraffin);

  • gentle articular mobilizations;

  • specific suppleness exercises (passive and active mobility);

  • specific strengthening exercises;

  • specific muscular endurance exercises;

  • cardio-vascular program;

  • general physical health program (non-specific to the affected limb);

  • massage (circulatory and superficial aiming contractures);

  • pressure-therapy;

  • electrotherapy.


OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY conventional and mental health:

  • Body mechanics and postural hygiene;

  • task adaptations;

  • energy conservation;

  • desensitization program;

  • resting splint and dynamic orthesis;

  • allodynic pain management;

  • active pain management at the primary and secondary site of algodystrophy;

  • advice to improve sleep;

  • advice on stress management (if needed);

  • relaxation and distraction techniques;

  • advice on management of emotions;

  • hypnosis and induction techniques.


  • Preparing and teaching a home mobilization program;

  • preparing and teaching analgesic methods for home (ie: baths).


Each rehabilitation program is prepared to meet the specific needs of the client. It is important to note that the evolution of the syndrome occurs over several months. In 60 to 75% of the cases, the pain disappears with no sequel in 6 to 12 months. In 25 to 40% on the cases, it could persist longer (up to 2 years) and leave sequels, particularly stiffness.