Causalgia is a rare chronic pain syndrome that is related to partial peripheral nerve injuries. Also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II (CRPS II), this condition which occurs after cutting or damage of a nerve is characterized by a chronic burning pain and hypersensitivity in the area around the damaged nerve. Causalgia often arises after an injury or trauma to a peripheral nerve, which runs from the spine and brain to the extremities. That said, the most common site where causalgia pain is often felt is known as the brachial plexus, which is a bunch of nerves that run from the neck to the arms. Causalgia or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is quite rare as it affects slightly less than 1 out of every 100,000 persons.
The pain associated with causalgia is typically localized in the area around the injured nerve. For instance, if the nerve injury occurred in a leg, the pain will be felt in that leg. It should be noted that Causalgia or CRPS II only occurs whenever there is a periphery nerve injury and that explains why it is often found in particular body parts including the arms, legs, hands and feet. Causalgia is different from CRPS I which doesn’t involve an apparent nerve injury, since the pain from a hurt finger can radiate throughout the entire body. The symptoms of causalgia are reported to be the same, irrespective of the particular periphery nerve that was injured. Some of the symptoms include pins and needles sensation, burning, aching and excruciating pain that lasts six months or longer, swelling or stiffness of the affected limb, abnormal sweating around the injured site, as well as changes in temperatures/skin around the injured area.
The root cause of causalgia is a peripheral nerve injury which can result from either a sprain, fracture or surgery. It has been estimated that about 1.8 of 400 elective foot and ankle surgery patients always develop causalgia after surgery. Nevertheless, other causes of causalgia include soft tissue trauma, crushing injury as well as amputation. Like many other medical conditions, causalgia can be treated and its treatment consists of medications as well as therapies such as physical and nerve stimulating therapies.
Some findings from research have revealed that medical marijuana is effective in alleviating some of the most debilitating symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. A study that was published by the American pain Society in February 2013 revealed that low doses of vaporized medical marijuana resulted in a significant decrease in pain, in people suffering from Causalgia or CRPS II. The same study further revealed that the vaporized marijuana also made it possible for patients to function more normally since it’s not associated with the adverse site affects that are common with many other pain medications including heroin and opioid.
The findings from the 2013 study is one of the reasons why both CRPS Types I and II are qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Illinois and Connecticut.
Aside treating pain, medical marijuana is equally effective in treating depression, which is a common condition in most people suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome II. A 2017 study that was conducted in Canada revealed that 63 percent of the participants reported using medical marijuana as a substitute for prescription drugs such as opioids, antidepressants as well as sedatives. According to findings from another study that was conducted by a Neuropharmacology in 2016, CBD one of the major compounds in medical marijuana prompts antidepressant effects, with instantaneous results.
Very few studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of medical cannabis in treating Complex Regional Pain Syndrome II. Thus, there is a need for scientists to carry out more elaborate and concrete studies on the subject.
Marijuana strains reported to help with Causalgia:
- Blue Dream
- Grandaddy Purple
- Northern Lights
- Sour Tsunami
- Jack Herer
How To Get Medical Marijuana
If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Causalgia or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.