Phantom Limb Pain: What You Should Know

Posted on: August 4th, 2016 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger

PhantomLimbPain

Each year, approximately 185,000 people undergo various amputations in the United States. While the reasons for amputation vary, one thing remains consistent—80 percent of those amputees experience phantom limb pain. Premier Prosthetics wishes to educate you on what to expect, when you should tell your doctor and how you can treat it.

What to expect:

Phantom limb pain is the burning, twisting, itching, uncomfortable pressure or pain that seems to come from your amputated limb or extremity. For many amputees, this experience comes immediately after amputation. It can also happen spontaneously when you’re fatigued or from using your prosthesis more than usual. The sensation can last a few minutes, or it can stretch into days. Every person feel phantom limb pain differently.

When you should tell your doctor or prosthetist:

If the pain is persisting for several days or it’s interrupting your recovery and daily life, talk to your doctor or prosthetist. Amputees often feel embarrassed about their phantom limb pain, so they’re hesitant to bring it up to their doctors. Premier Prosthetics would like to assure that you have nothing to worry about! Your prosthetist has dealt with this before, and your doctor will believe you when you say you’re feeling pain where your old limb used to be. They can work with you to find a treatment that addresses what is happening in your mind and body.

How you can treat it:

There are a number of different treatment options you can pursue for phantom limb pain. Your doctor may prescribe certain medication in conjunction with non-medicinal treatments. Premier Prosthetics can also help you find relief. Things such as massage therapy and acupuncture can help alieve persistent phantom limb pain. Other amputees have reported relief through music, mirror box therapy and biofeedback.

Remember, you are not alone in your battle with phantom limb pain. This common condition impacts a large percentage of amputees. Our expert staff understands what you’re going through. Set up an appointment with us to discuss your various treatment options.

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