Erythromelalgia: symptoms and treatment

Erythromelalgia is a pathology of the autonomic nervous system, which is classified as rare. Characterized by a paroxysmal contraction of the arteries on the limbs. This pathological process is accompanied by the appearance of burning pain in the affected area, flushing of the skin, and local hyperthermia.

To date, scientists have not yet been able to establish the true causes of the progression of erythromelalgia. Diagnosis of pathology is usually based only on symptoms, since they are quite specific. Treatment of erythromelalgia is carried out using conservative techniques, in particular with the help of drug therapy and physiotherapy. To surgical treatment resorted to neglected cases.


The true cause of the progression of erythromelalgia has not yet been established. But scientists already know for sure that this ailment can manifest as primary, and be a consequence of other pathologies. In this case, erythromelalgia is secondary. Most often, the disease manifests itself against the background of the following conditions:

  • Myxedema
  • blood pathology;
  • syringomyelia
  • alcoholism
  • diabetes;
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • endarteritis
  • gout;
  • phlebitis;
  • osteochondrosis of the spinal column with pronounced symptoms
  • dorsal dry;
  • traumatism of varying severity.

Primary erythromelalgia is severe and requires long-term treatment. Symptoms of pathology are expressed very intensely. Secondary erythromelalgia has a more calm and favorable course. Good for treatment.


Erythromelalgia usually occurs in people from the middle age category. The manifestation of symptoms of pathology in the elderly or in children is extremely rare. It is also worth noting that representatives of the strong half of humanity are more susceptible to the disease than women.

The peculiarity of erythromelalgia is that it has a paroxysmal course. It means that periodically the patient has seizures with pronounced symptoms. In particular, each such attack is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  1. Local hyperthermia. During an attack with erythromelalgia, the temperature of the skin grows in the affected areas (brushes, feet)
  2. In the feet and hands there are unbearable painful sensations. They can be baking or even burning;
  3. local hyperemia (at the site of injury)
  4. intensive sweat secretion on affected limb sites

The duration of the attack can be different. In some people, the attack lasts only a couple of minutes, while others — a few hours. Also, in medicine, there are cases when the symptoms of erythromelalgia were manifested in a sick person for several days. It is worth noting that the attack can occur both in itself and be provoked by the impact of some external factors, for example, physical stress, overheating or hypothermia.

As a rule, the symptoms of the pathology are manifested in the hands or heels, but in some cases the pain can appear on the earlobe, on the tip of the nose, separately on certain fingers. If you do not carry out a full treatment of pathology, then this symptomatology will only increase with time.


An experienced specialist will not be able to recognize pathology, since it has a characteristic clinical picture. Diagnosis of pathology includes the following activities:

  • examination and questioning of the patient. It is important for a specialist to clarify when the symptoms of an illness first appeared, how intense they are, whether they are related to the influence of certain factors, etc.
  • taking blood for biochemical and clinical analysis
  • Clinical analysis of urine
  • radiography
  • Ultrasound;
  • CT and MRI (to establish concomitant pathologies that could provoke erythromelalgia).

Healing measures

In order to assign the right treatment, it is important for the diagnostician to determine which form of pathology the patient developed (primary or secondary). In the secondary form, it is necessary to carry out treatment of the disease, which became the provoker of its progression.

Treatment of erythromelalgia should be only complex, the only way to achieve positive dynamics. Usually, first, doctors resort to conservative treatment, using medication and physiotherapy. If these methods did not have the expected effect, then doctors can make a decision about operative intervention.

Drug treatment is performed using the following medicines:

  1. Aspirin;
  2. pharmaceuticals with vasoconstrictive action
  3. drugs that include substances that tone up the nervous system
  4. Vitamin Complexes
  5. tranquilizers
  6. preparations with calcium content
  7. anticonvulsant preparations
  8. administration of novocaine during an attack, to reduce the severity of pain.

Physiotherapeutic methods of treatment:

  • acupuncture;
  • Galvanization
  • Baths. The most effective radon and sulphide;
  • use of mud applications
  • darsonvalization
  • UFO.

In the case of ineffectiveness of conservative measures resort to surgical intervention, which consists in the removal of sympathetic nodes innervating the affected area on the limbs. After such an operation, the vessels are not controlled by the nervous system, and therefore the influx of blood in them is not accompanied by an intense pain syndrome. After the intervention, it takes some time to be under the control of specialists in the medical institution (monitoring the dynamics after the operation).