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Phantom Limb Pain

What is Phantom Limb Pain?

It refers to pain experienced after a surgical amputation of a limb. The pain may be associated with the feelings that the amputated limb is still attached to the body. This pain is often hard to distinguish from stump pain, which is the pain felt in the stump remaining after amputation.

Does everyone with an amputated limb develop phantom limb pain?

No.

Can physiotherapy help people with phantom limb pain?

Yes. Physiotherapists employ a wide variety of treatment methods to relief this pain after a comprehensive assessment to determine if the cause is from a central adaptation, a peripheral sensitization or if there are psychological, social and musculoskeletal factors involved.

What are the risk factors of developing phantom limb pain after an amputation?

  • Presence of pain in the limb before the amputation occurs

  • Presence of stump pain after the amputation

  • Presence of other pains like headaches, bone or joint pain

  • Having both limbs amputated

  • Amputations of the leg

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