Phantom Limb Pain
Following an amputation surgery, individuals may experience a series of painful symptoms as part of the body’s natural response system. This is referred to as phantom limb pain, and while an exact cause has not been identified, researchers believe that nerves in parts of the spinal cord and brain “rewire” when they lose signals from a missing arm or leg (WebMD). In believing that something is wrong, the nerves send pain signals to the area. For many, the pain goes away on its own. Yet, for others, it can be ongoing and severe.
In classifying phantom limb pain, it’s important to understand that pain varies from person to person. For instance, individuals have reported feelings of burning or shooting pain, as well as tingling sensations, twisting, crushing and electrical shock. Moreover, when a body part is removed, some claim that they continue to experience a sense of pressure or vibration in the area, as well as itching and differences in temperature.
Though pain medications help in some cases, others require a different treatment approach—one that specifically addresses nerve signals in the spinal cord and brain. This might include electrical stimulation or physical therapy to redirect nerve signals and encourage better blood circulation. Other efforts focus on easing a patient’s stress or anxiety, as these are believed to exacerbate symptoms associated with phantom limb pain. Anti-depressants have proved effective in helping patients manage post-amputation stress and recovery. In turn, when there is swelling and other injuries present, anti-inflammatory medications ease pain symptoms and promote better function and adjustment following amputation surgery.
Customized Treatment Solutions And Compassionate Care
Notably frustrating and uncomfortable, phantom limb pain can dramatically affect a patient’s quality of life. That’s why the pain management professionals at Allied Pain & Spine Institute remain dedicated to helping individuals get to the bottom of their pain. Using the latest in cutting-edge diagnostics and treatments, our team provides customized treatment solutions that include integrative and compassionate care.
To schedule an appointment, contact Allied Pain & Spine Institute today.
Posted on behalf of Allied Pain & Spine Institute