Raynaud’s Syndrome

Last Updated: June 29, 2018

Definition - What does Raynaud’s Syndrome mean?

Raynaud's syndrome is a condition affecting the blood vessels of the hands, feet, and other extremities. Sufferers of the primary form of Raynaud's syndrome experience vasospasm, or limited blood circulation to their extremities, in response to cold or stress. In the workplace, long term exposure to vibrations may cause a secondary form of Raynaud's syndrome. This syndrome is also called Raynaud's, Raynaud's Phenomenon or Disease, or White Finger.

WorkplaceTesting explains Raynaud’s Syndrome

Raynaud's syndrome is characterized by damage to the blood vessels resulting in constriction of blood flow to affected areas of the body. This constriction limits the delivery of oxygen to those body parts and over time results in muscle and tissue damage. While the condition may affect a person's nose and ears, it most often strikes the hands and feet.

All of the causes of Raynaud's are not yet known. However, the primary form of the condition often runs in families and expresses symptoms in response to exposure to cold temperatures or stress.

The causation for the secondary form is less clear, but it is known that prolonged and repeated exposure to vibrations during work can be a factor in the development of the syndrome. The name white finger was given to this syndrome due to the ashen appearance of the fingers of someone who has this condition. Left untreated, Raynaud's syndrome will eventually result in the loss of control and sensation in the affected extremities.

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