Phantom limb pain

Itch Medicine Can Help No drugs specifically treat phantom limb pain. But medicines for other conditions, from depression to epilepsymay give some relief. These drugs treat seizuresbut some can also help with nerve pain.

Phantom limb pain

Types[ edit ] There are various types of sensations that may be felt: Sometimes, an amputee will experience a sensation called telescoping. This is the feeling that the phantom limb is gradually shortening over time. Sensations of movement e.

Sensations of touch, temperature, pressure and itchiness. Many amputees report of feeling heat, tingling, itchiness, and pain. Signs and symptoms[ edit ] Phantom pain involves the sensation of pain in a part of the body that has been removed.

Epidemiology[ edit ] Phantom limb pain and phantom limb sensations are linked, but must be differentiated from one another. While phantom limb sensations are experienced by those with congenital limb deficiency, spinal cord injury, and amputation, phantom limb pain occurs almost exclusively as a result of amputation.

Age and gender have not been shown to affect the onset or duration of phantom limb pain. Although it has not been fully explored, one investigation of lower limb amputation observed that as stump length decreased, there was a greater incidence of moderate and severe phantom pain.

Little is known about the true mechanism causing phantom pains, and many theories highly overlap.

Phantom limb pain: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Historically, phantom pains were thought to originate from neuromas located at the stump tip. Traumatic neuromas, or non-tumor nerve injuries, often arise from surgeries and result from the abnormal growth of injured nerve fibers. Although stump neuromas contribute to phantom pains, they are not the sole cause.

This is because patients with congenital limb deficiency can sometimes, although rarely, experience phantom pains.

Phantom limb pain

This suggests that there is a central representation of the limb responsible for painful sensations. Peripheral mechanisms[ edit ] Neuromas formed from injured nerve endings at the stump site are able to fire abnormal action potentialsand were historically thought to be the main cause of phantom limb pain.

Although neuromas are able to contribute to phantom pain, pain is not completely eliminated when peripheral nerves are treated with conduction blocking agents. The peripheral nervous system is thought to have at most a modulation effect on phantom limb pain.

Peripheral nerve injury can lead to the degeneration of C fibers in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, and terminating A fibers may subsequently branch into the same lamina.

Because patients with complete spinal cord injury have experienced phantom pains, there must be an underlying central mechanism responsible for the generation of phantom pains. Central mechanisms and cortical remapping[ edit ] Under ordinary circumstances, the genetically determined circuitry in the brain remains largely stable throughout life.

It was thought, until about 30 years ago, that no new neural circuits could be formed in the adult mammalian brain. Sometimes there is a side shift of the hand motor cortex to the ipsilateral cortex. The neuromatrix[ edit ] The neuromatrix theory proposes that there is an extensive network connecting the thalamus and the cortex, and the cortex and the limbic system.

This theory proposes that conscious awareness and the perception of self are generated in the brain via patterns of input that can be modified by different perceptual inputs. It is the neurosignature of a specific body part that determines how it is consciously perceived.

The neuromatrix theory aims to explain how certain activities associated with pain lead to the conscious perception of phantom pain. The persistence of the neurosignature, even after limb amputation, may be the cause of phantom sensations and pain.

Phantom pain may arise from abnormal reorganization in the neuromatrix to a pre-existing pain state. It also does not address how sensations can spontaneously end and how some amputees do not experience phantom sensations at all. It is also likely that it is too difficult to be tested empirically, especially when testing painless phantom sensations.

Doctors may prescribe medications to reduce the pain.

Phantom limb pain

Some antidepressants or antiepileptics have been shown to have a beneficial effect on reducing phantom limb pain.Continued Other Ways to Ease Phantom Limb Pain.

If your pain is a problem even when you use medicine and non-drug therapies, your doctor may suggest other medical procedures. Phantom limb syndrome: Phantom limb syndrome, the ability to feel sensations and even pain in a limb or limbs that no longer exist.

Phantom limb syndrome is characterized by both nonpainful and painful sensations. Nonpainful sensations can be divided into the perception of .

The QUEST Post-Amputation Pain Study. Phantom limb pain (PLP) refers to ongoing painful sensations that seem to be coming from the part of the limb that is no longer there.

The limb is gone, but the pain is real. The onset of this pain most often occurs soon after surgery.

Phantom pain - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic

Phantom Limb Pain is a sensation of pain perceived from a limb that is no longer attached to the body due to trauma or surgical amputation. Read more now. Phantom limb sensations may include feelings of coldness, warmth, or itchiness or tingling — but should not be confused with phantom pain.

Similarly, pain from the .

Phantom limb pain: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia