Mirror treatment of lower limb phantom pain: A case study

  title={Mirror treatment of lower limb phantom pain: A case study},
  author={Malcolm Maclachlan and Dympna McDonald and Justine Waloch},
  journal={Disability and Rehabilitation},
  pages={901 - 904}
Purpose: Phantom limb pain (PLP) can be an enduring and distressing experience for people with amputations. Previous research has shown that ‘mirror treatment’ can reduce PLP for some people who have an upper limb amputation, and that it can increase a sense of motor control over the phantom in people with lower limb amputations who are not reporting PLP. There has been no previous report of therapeutic ‘mirror treatment’ for lower-limb phantom pain. Method: We present the first case study of… 
Mirror therapy for the alleviation of phantom limb pain following amputation: A literature review
This review aimed to assess the current best evidence for using mirror therapy to treat PLP in patients with amputation and found no current consensus as to the effectiveness of mirror therapy.
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The level of evidence for MT as a first intention treatment in PLP is insufficient, and further research is needed to assess the effect of MT on pain, prosthesis use, and body representation, and to standardize protocols.
Mirror Therapy in the Rehabilitation of Lower-Limb Amputation: Are There Any Contraindications?
A large number of side effects could be due to the lack of selection of patients and the fact that the mirror box therapy was paralleled by a conventional rehabilitation approach targeted to the use of a prosthesis.
Individual differences in response to phantom limb movement therapy
Individual differences in response to phantom limb movement therapy are discussed in the context of motor imagery ability and the phantom limb phenomenon as a multi-dimensional disorder.
Phantom pain in bilateral upper limb amputation
There is no healing for phantom pain; medical and surgical modalities only bring temporary relief, and less than 1% of the respondents achieve permanent relief through different treatment methods.
Clinical Trial of the Virtual Integration Environment to Treat Phantom Limb Pain With Upper Extremity Amputation
Success with the VIE system confirms its application as a non-invasive and low-cost therapy option for PLP and phantom limb symptoms for individuals with upper limb loss.
Motor correlates of phantom limb pain
It is confirmed that amputees suffering from worse chronic PLP had worse motor control over their phantom hand, and the neural basis of these behavioural correlates of PLP is explored.
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Mirror therapy can be used as an adjunct to medical and surgical treatment of PLP, and is a method that patients can practice independently, enhancing self-control over phantom pain.
Mind-Body Interventions for Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain in Persons with Amputation
The weight of existing findings indicates that a mind-body approach to PLP pain management is promising and that specific methods may offer either temporary or long-term relief, either alone or in combination with conventional therapies.
Metal bar prevents phantom limb motion: Case study of an amputation patient who showed a profound change in the awareness of his phantom limb
The patient reported that the metal bar previously grasped by his hand was successfully removed from the phantom during the course of therapy, and this experience was accompanied by profound changes in the EMG modulation in the residual wrist muscles.


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A very strong direct relationship is reported between the amount of cortical reorganization and the magnitude of phantom limb pain (but not non-painful phantom phenomena) experienced after arm amputation, indicating that phantom-limb pain is related to, and may be a consequence of, plastic changes in primary somatosensory cortex.
Synaesthesia in phantom limbs induced with mirrors
An inexpensive new device is introduced - a ‘virtual reality box’ - to resurrect the phantom visually to study the effects of visual input on phantom sensations, suggesting that there is a considerable amount of latent plasticity even in the adult human brain.
Reorganization of Motor and Somatosensory Cortex in Upper Extremity Amputees with Phantom Limb Pain
Enhanced plasticity in both the motor and somatosensory domains in amputees with phantom limb pain is shown, with a high correlation between the magnitude of the shift of the cortical representation of the mouth into the hand area in motor and motor cortex and phantom limbPain.
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An innovative study has made use of digital photography to depict how amputees perceive their phantoms and found that by remaining true to patients' own experiences, the researchers found it to be realistic and consistent with patients' subjective reports.
Increased motor control of a phantom leg in humans results from the visual feedback of a virtual leg
Viewing a virtual leg resulted in amputees reporting a significantly greater number of movements of their phantom leg than with attempted movement alone, and the implications were discussed in terms of visuo-motor adaptation and theories of motor control.
Reorganisation of motor and somatosensory cortex in upper limb amputees with phantom limb pain
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Phantom pain persists: Phantom phenomena five decades post amputation