Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to causalgia: causalgia neuralgia


a burning pain often associated with trophic skin changes in the hand or foot, caused by peripheral nerve injury. It may be aggravated by the slightest stimuli or it may be intensified by the emotions. It usually begins several weeks after the initial injury and the pain is described as intense, with patients sometimes taking elaborate precautions to avoid any stimulus that they know could cause a flare-up of symptoms. They often will go to great extremes to protect the affected limb and become preoccupied with such protection.

Any of a variety of injuries to the hand, foot, arm, or leg can lead to causalgia, but in most cases there has been some injury to the median nerve or sciatic nerve. Injections of a local anesthetic at the painful site may bring relief. Sympathectomy may be necessary to eliminate the severe pain, and in the majority of cases it is quite successful. Psychotherapy may be necessary when emotional instability is suspected. Emotional problems may result from the intense suffering characteristic of severe causalgia. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (also called chronic regional pain syndrome) is a variant of causalgia.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

complex regional pain syndrome type I

diffuse persistent pain usually in an extremity often associated with vasomotor disturbances, trophic changes, and limitation or immobility of joints; frequently follows some local injury.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Persistent pain of an extremity after prolonged autonomic nervous system stimulation.
Clinical findings
Dysaesthesia, pain, swelling of an extremity with trophic skin changes, hypertrichosis, osteoporosis.
Acute MI, cervical osteoporosis, CVAs, nerve injury, neurologic events, surgery, trauma.

Sympathetic block with local anaesthetics.
Sports medicine
An exaggerated response of the sympathetic nervous system to minor trauma, especially if superimposed on healing injuries.
Clinical findings
Severe, recurrent, chronic pain, affecting an entire extremity; swelling, stiffness and discolouration.

Uncertain, possibly mental stress.
Inactivity and inadequate therapy result in muscle atrophy, demineralisation and contractures.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


Caulsalgia syndrome Pain medicine A sensation of persistent severe burning pain of either organic–direct or indirect trauma to a sensory nerve, accompanied by trophic changes–or psychologic origin. See Headache, Somatiform disorder.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Persistent severe burning sensation, usually following partial injury of a peripheral nerve, accompanied by trophic changes (thinning of skin, loss of sweat glands and hair follicles).
[G. kausis, burning, + algos, pain]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


Severe and persistent burning pain in a limb caused by partial damage to a nerve trunk, usually from physical injury. The injured nerve spontaneously generates impulses which are interpreted by the brain as pain.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


A severe burning sensation sometimes accompanied by redness and inflammation of the skin. Causalgia is caused by injury to a nerve outside the spinal cord.
Mentioned in: Sympathectomy
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Brookoff, "Complex regional pain syndromes (reflex sympathetic dystrophy and causalgia) and spinal cord stimulation," Pain Medicine, vol.
A Physiologic Interpretation of Causalgia and Its Related States.
Pain mechanisms in causalgia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry.
Most nurses are familiar with the causalgias that accompany hemiparesis after a stroke, the phantom pain that may follow an amputation, and the pain associated with long-term diabetic neuropathy.
CRPS type II or causalgia involves injury to a peripheral nerve trunk.
Complex regional pain syndrome (type1, RSD; type 2, Causalgia) controversies.
Desde 1598 hay reportes en la literatura que describen formas clinicas similares, pero el primero en describir el termino causalgia en 1864 fue Silas Weir Mitchell, (1) durante la segunda guerra civil americana.
Type II represents causalgia, which involves cases in which a definite nerve lesion occurred.