Limb Amputation

Limb Amputation

limb amputation

It has been generally observed that an illusion of the limb in case of patients who have their hands or Limbs Amputated, see a phantom limb and such an illusion often relieves their pain of the Amputation. This happens so when the person looks in the mirror and has a reflection of the health limb on his the Amputated Limb, it causes to appear where the missing limb should be. The person thus because of the illusion, gets relieved from the pain by seeing the limb move freely.

The same can work for patients with Arthritic pain. As mentioned by Cognitive Scientist, Laura Case who works at the lab of Vilayanur S. who is a member of the Scientific American Mind’s board of advisors for the University of California at San Diego made a modification of the technique for patients with arthritic pain.

She advised superimposing the hand of a person who is healthy on the patient’s hand which is constricted or contorted and painful. The patient should slowly mimic the movement of the hand of the healthy person, slowly and purposefully without seeing their own hand. This creates an illusion that their hand is moving smoothly and pains happen to be slightly lower than earlier and also the movement of the joint is larger than earlier.

This study suggests that the pain in the arthritic joint is not only because of the mixture of inflammatory molecules in the arthritic joint but also because of what the brain gets accustomed to the pain which gives of the feeling of more pain in the joint.

Research is still going on to understand the long-term effects of the mirror effect of the illusion.

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