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Phantom Limb Pain : Stroke Rehabilitation Exercises / Drug Free Post Stroke Treatments, Therapy that works



Phantom Limb Pain

If you have been unfortunate enough to lose a limb then you must try mirror therapy for your phantom pains and unpleasant phantom sensations. Mirror therapy can relieve these extremely unpleasant sensations in seconds.

Our lightweight, portable Folding Mirror Box, can be use anywhere and at anytime to provide rapid pain relief.

Rehabilitation using Mirror Box Therapy

It may seem bizarre that something as simple as a mirror can be used to treat phantom sensations but it is true.  This is because the visual feedback that mirror therapy provides replaces the sensory feedback that the brain expects from the lost limb and in this way, it is thought that the imbalance in feelings and feedback that the brain expects from the missing limb is in part corrected removing or significantly reducing the phantom sensations in many patients.
Studies have shown that a patient's phantom limb discomfort can be improved by integrating physical and mental practice. This can be achieved by utilizing mirrors to trick patients' brains into thinking that, they were moving their hand or limb. Using a Mirror Box Therapy can help to achieve this.
The brain has a hard-wired image of the bodies parts, to help explain this, hold out your hand look at it, close your eyes and now move your hand to a different place in space, note that mentally you still know the hands position even though you cannot see it. This is why you can touch your nose with one finger with you eyes close, but a drunken person cannot; as we know alcohol affects the brain and not the limbs.
As a limb amputee, this hard wiring is still in place. Therefore, as far as the brain is concerned it still knows where the limb is whether it is itching or even in pain. Mirror box therapy can help relieve these symptoms by giving the brain visual feedback and therefore tricking the brain in to believing the missing limb is where it should be and performing correctly.

How to use the therapy

The patient places the stump inside the mirror box and their unaffected limb in front of the mirror. Seeing the reflection of the unaffected limb and performing simple tasks such as the unclenching of a fist, the patient receives visual feedback from the unaffected limb in the mirror, as though it appears they are moving their affected limb. In addition, patients should imagine that they are moving their missing limb and move it from a potentially painful position or even scratch the itch. Watch Video
Improvements come with repeated exercises. This is why a portable, collapsible and lightweight Mirror box is an invaluable tool in your recovery, allowing you to do your rehabilitation exercises wherever and whenever you wish.

Step up your therapy now to a new and more efficient phase


It is suggested that phantom limb sensation derives from the hardwiring of the brain. Scanning the brain using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has shown that by using a Mirror Box as often and as long as is comfortable the Neural network within the brain can start to rewire itself to map its new profile and compensate for the missing limb and improve the patients quality of life.

A more technical explanation of phantom pain and mirror therapy

Phantom sensations are said to be present in all amputees and in children born with missing limbs. It is thought that since the sensations are present in children born with missing limbs the human brain is "hard wired" in the somatosensory cortex (the strip of brain that runs between the ears) to expect sensation from all 4 limbs.
Phantom pain occurs in up to 80% amputees and unfortunately tends to be therapy resistant and chronic. Indeed the limb does not need to be lost, phantom pains may occur after a disconnect injury such as a spinal cord injury or brachial plexus avulsion which are common after motorbike accidents. Phantom pain is typically described as burning aching or as if the limb, foot, hand is being crushed or held in a vice like grip


Historically the causes of phantom pain have focused on the stump. Pain has often been ascribed to local nerve stump irritation, however as our knowledge of the nervous system improved the proposed causes of phantom pain have migrated centrally, initially to integration of information in the spinal cord, and then to the central processing of information in the higher centres of the brain especially the somatosensory and motor cortex.
It has recently been postulated that Phantom limb pain is a manifestation of a need like state of the mind to "feel and see" the limb move. This hypothesis is backed by the work that demonstrated reduced pain after use of an electric prosthetic limb, which showed normalisation of the somatosensory cortex in the pain relieved state. It is also validated by the use of mirror box therapy in the management of phantom pain states. This concept of phantom pain arising out of an imbalance between the sensory evaluation of incoming information from the missing limb and the motor co-ordination of the limb is now central to both the efficacy of mirror therapy and the modern concept of phantom pain as a central (brain) problem rather than a stump or peripheral problem.