Causalgia, also known as complex regional pain syndrome or reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, is a chronic pain condition characterized by continuous, intense pain out of proportion to the severity of the injury, which gets worse over time. Causalgia usually affects the extremities, and most often, the pain spreads to include the entire extremity. In this condition, there are dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected limb or body part, accompanied by intense, burning pain, skin sensitivity, sweating and swelling. This condition is believed to be due to a dysfunctional sympathetic nervous system or a disturbed immune response.
The Ayurvedic treatment of causalgia is aimed at relieving pain and other symptoms and treating the basic cause of the disease. Medicines like Triphala-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Dashmoolarishta, Maha-Rasnadi-Qadha, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Deodar (Cedrus deodara), Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis), Erandmool (Ricinus communis), Khurasani ova (Hyoscyamus niger) and Jayphal (Myristica fragrans) are used to treat the pain.
Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Gokshuradi-Guggulu and Punarnavadi-Qadha are used to reduce swelling. Medicines like Chandrakala-Ras, Saarivadi-Churna, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Usheerasav and Chandanasav are used to reduce burning sensation, skin sensitivity and increased sweating.
Medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Kaishor-Guggulu, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Abhrak-Bhasma and Trivang-Bhasma are used to treat the dysfunctional sympathetic nervous system. A disturbed immune response may be treated using medicines like Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Bhrungraj (Eclipta alba), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia) and Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus). In addition, periodical, localized blood-letting with the application of leeches or by using a syringe and needle, can bring about a dramatic improvement in all the symptoms, including severe pain.
The prognosis of causalgia varies from person to person. Treatment therefore, needs to be tailor-made for each individual according to the presentation and severity of the symptoms.