Acupuncture for Causalgia



[kôˈzalj(ē)ə, -ˈsal-]

Causalgia Toes during a burning flare

Toes during a burning flare


Causalgia is a pain syndrome manifest with severe burning pain in a limb caused by injury to a peripheral nerve.  The disease also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), or a newer medical term called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).



chronic neuropathic pain syndromes

“Of all the chronic neuropathic pain syndromes, none has perplexed patient, clinician, and scientist more than the complex regional pain syndromes (CRPS), heretofore known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) and causalgia.”

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)


There is another autonomic nerve system illness that I see in my clinic, with similar ANS problems but manifest quite differently from Raynaud’s (ray-NOHZ) disease, called Causalgia. Raynaud’s is more prevalent to young female, causalgia is more seen with young man.  As of the reason why and what causes these autonomic nerve system disease, both are unknown.  One things seem in common is that we can noticed that patient usually are likely been lack of exercise, as well as easily seen frostbite in winter season; for those women whom suffered from this disease are usually seen Irregular menstrual periods or to have sweaty palms.  Causalgia can be secondary to some diseases such as thrombotic angiitis(vasculitis), Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, Scleroderma, Polycythemia Vera, Syringomyelia, advanced skin lesions of nutritional change, such as thickening of the nails, or small ulcers forming at the tip of the fingers.

Erythromelalgia in a 77-year-old woman with longstanding

Erythromelalgia in a 77-year-old woman with longstanding polycythemia Vera.



Redness, swelling, hot, pain accompany with burning and stinging sensation, pain is worse in the night, as standing, walking and sitting can all trigger the pain, patient liked to raise their legs and stay in cooler environment.

localized skin is hyperemia and warm or hot to touch, skin temperature can be raised moderately.  Mild swelling and sweating, localized tactile hyperalgesia and no sensory loss or motor disorders.






  1. Treatment using Jia-Ji points:

Jia-Ji points from T1 to T5, lumbar area L1 to L3.

Retain needles for 30 minutes, 10 treatments as one session.


  1. Treatment using localized acu-points:

足三里  ST-36, 陽陵泉  GB-34, 三陰交  SP-6, 太溪  KI-3,太衝 LR-3,

俠溪 GB-43。

Retain needles for 30 minutes, 10 treatments as one session.


  1. Treatment using back side Shu-Point:

For upper limbs – 闕陰兪 BL-14, 心兪 BL-15, 膈兪 BL-17。

For lower limbs – 脾兪 BL-20, 胃兪 BL-21, 腎兪 BL-23。

Retain needles for 20 minutes, 10 treatments as one session.


Personal experience and conclusion:

Personally, I like to utilize ONLY the Jia-Ji Points because I have noticed that by using Jia-Ji Point Treatment sees much faster improvement and good prognosis.  I have been carefully avoiding those localized point or acu-point in the focus areas, as I have found that the situation can become worse, or stimulations can just triggered another new attack.





You can find more of the general medical information of Causalgia/RSD/CRPS in these websites:


This article is written by Larry Han, AP

Acupuncture Treatment Center

April 8, 2017