What is Phantom Limb Pain?

Posted on: March 25th, 2015 by FloydBrace Blogger
Phantom limb pain is a confusing sensation that causes discomfort for many people after their amputation.

Phantom limb pain is a confusing sensation that causes discomfort for many people after their amputation.

If you have suffered from a limb loss, you may have experienced phantom limb pain at some point. Floyd Brace has some more information about this confusing discomfort to help you manage and prevent it following your amputation.

What is it?

Phantom limb pain is the ongoing painful sensation felt in a part of the limb that is no longer there. This pain usually occurs soon after surgery and can feel like burning, twisting, itching or pressure and can last anywhere from seconds to days.

What causes it?

Phantom limb pain is believed to be caused by mixed signals from the brain or spinal cord. Just like with other kinds of pain, you may find that there are certain triggers for your phantom limb pain. If you notice a specific trigger for your phantom limb pain episodes, talk to your healthcare provider.

These may include:

  • Touch
  • Urination or defecation
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Smoking
  • Changes in barometric pressure
  • Exposure to cold

Treating Phantom Limb Pain

Combining medications with non-medication treatments has been found to be the most effective in those suffering from phantom limb pain. It is important to talk with a health professional to find the best treatment for you.

Medications to decrease pain sensations include:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Beta-blockers
  • Muscle relaxants

Non-medication treatments include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage of the residual limb
  • Imagery
  • Music
  • Repositioning of the residual limb by propping on a cushion

The symptoms of phantom limb pain generally improve over time. Most people experience this for the first six months following their amputation. Work with your doctors to find a treatment plan to avoid and treat the pain. Floyd Brace is always ready to talk about the problems you have following a limb loss. We want to help you find the best prosthetic device to keep you active and healthy.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.