Imagine having severe, burning pain in your hands or feet that never subsides, no matter how much rest you get. You can suffer from causalgia, a complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type of chronic pain disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by uncontrollable nerve damage and extreme sensitivity to touch; then this is your reality.

Thankfully, early diagnosis and treatment mean there are now effective methods to reduce the pain’s severity and its impact on day-to-day living. Read on to learn more about what causalgia is, the causes behind it, and the available treatments that can potentially give sufferers relief so they can regain normal functioning. 

What is Causalgia?

Causalgia is a type of chronic pain syndrome characterized by burning and throbbing sensations and extreme sensitivity to touch, temperature, and movement. It is believed to be caused by damage to the large sensory nerves that send signals from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body.

What Causes this Pain Condition?

The exact cause of causalgia is unknown, but it commonly follows trauma to the affected area, such as an amputation or a severe burn. Infections, fractures, or surgery in the affected area can also cause it. In some cases, there may be no identifiable cause of the condition.

Trauma-Related Causes 

One potential cause of causalgia is an injury or trauma to a specific nerve. This type of injury could occur from a physical blow, a laceration, or surgery. In some cases, even minor injuries can lead to nerve damage and pain in certain areas of the body. 

Disease-Related Causes 

It is also possible for certain diseases or medical conditions to cause causalgia. For example, inflammatory illnesses such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation around nerves, leading to pain and discomfort in those areas. Other diseases, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis, have also been linked to nerve damage which may result in causalgia-like symptoms. 

Infectious Causes 

Infections caused by bacteria or viruses can also lead to damage to the nerves, resulting in causalgia-like symptoms. Typically, these infections will affect multiple areas of the body simultaneously—a symptom known as polyneuropathy—resulting in widespread nerve damage and pain throughout the body.

The most common types of infectious agents responsible for this type of nerve damage include Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, Shingles, Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Syphilis, Toxoplasmosis Gondii (Toxo), and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV).   

Symptoms of Causalgia 

The most common symptom of causalgia is severe burning pain in the affected area. This pain may be constant or intermittent and can range from mild to extreme levels depending on the severity of the injury.

Other symptoms include;

  • Numbness
  • Tingling sensations
  • Hypersensitivity to touch
  • Muscle twitches
  • Swelling and tenderness in the affected area

It is also possible for patients with causalgia to experience fatigue and depression due to their pain levels.  

How is Causalgia Treated?

Treating causalgia requires a combination of medical interventions to reduce pain levels and physical therapy to help restore mobility. Common treatments include:

  • Pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or opioids to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Antidepressants, which can help regulate the body’s response to pain signals
  • Physical therapy to maintain mobility and strength in affected areas of the body
  • Nerve blocks, which can reduce pain levels by interrupting the nerve signals
  • Surgery to repair damaged nerves or remove scar tissue that may be causing pain and discomfort
  • Psychological counseling to help patients better manage their chronic pain and cope with the emotional impact of living with it

Get the Help you Need

Causalgia is a debilitating pain condition that can cause serious issues for those affected. However, through the help of medical professionals and support systems, people with causalgia have hope for improving their quality of life. By engaging in gradual recovery exercises and therapy, seeking treatment from medical professionals, and having proper pain management techniques, people living with causalgia can start to regain control of their lives.

If you believe you are suffering from this condition and are looking for expert help, the team at Southeast Pain and Spine Care is here to help. We’re here to assist you in any way we can while ensuring that our top priority is providing effective solutions tailored to your specific needs and conditions. Take the first step towards healing today – reach out to us now using the form below!

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