How Does Mirror Therapy Work For Phantom Limb Pain?
Phantom limb pain is a type of chronic, intense discomfort in the area of an amputation or nerve removal that often goes undetected. It can cause great suffering and debilitating symptoms for those suffering from it. This article will review mirror therapy’s potential uses and provide helpful tips for its successful management.
The brain uses the somatosensory cortex to map body surfaces and process sensations like wiggles and taps – what causes a limb to move. When someone loses a limb, these maps may change, making it difficult for the brain to process information. Mirror therapy has been known to help reorganize these maps by simulating movement of an intact limb through a mirror.
Mirror therapy has been proven to reorganize cortical representations of the missing limb in the brain, relieving pain. Studies also demonstrate that mirror therapy increases a patient’s capacity for pain control and decreases anxiety levels.
This therapy is an innovative form of imagery and visual feedback training that has been scientifically proven to reduce pain in patients suffering from phantom limb pain, chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or ischemic strokes. It’s a cost-effective home treatment option that can improve movement and manage pain symptoms for these individuals.
Mirror therapy is a form of visualization and visual feedback training that has been scientifically proven to improve outcomes for patients with phantom limb and pain. This therapy utilizes a mirror to reflect an image of an intact arm or leg, encouraging movements in the affected limb while viewing it in its reflection.
A tabletop mirror measuring 20×25 inches is recommended. Position it across the midline of your body so that the amputation site is hidden behind the reflection, with either an arm or leg with its amputation in the background so no other part of your body is visible while performing mirror therapy.
Place the mirror on a tabletop, with your non-affected arm resting next to it. This helps ensure that the affected arm does not come into contact with the mirror when moving the unaffected one’s arm or hand.
Generally, it is recommended to practice mirror therapy at least twice a week; however, the frequency can be adjusted as needed. Regular practice of the therapy has been proven to significantly improve outcomes when done consistently.
Mirror therapy is an incredibly successful treatment for those suffering from phantom limb pain. Not only that, but it’s a cost-effective self-treatment option that can be done at home using just a mirror. Studies have demonstrated that mirror therapy significantly reduces pain for those affected by phantom limbs as well as the need for medications or medical intervention – particularly in developing countries where access to healthcare resources may be limited.