Decreasing Phantom Limb Pain Through Observation of Action and Imagery

by mo on Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Whereas the Wilcher case study considered the effectiveness of adding auditory elements to potential treatment of phantom limbs, this case study experiments with the repetition of visual elements in rendering the imagination into what the mind then adopts as reality. 

"The results of this study show that some persons with PLP may benefit from a new intervention consisting in repetitively imagining phantom limb movements previously observed in a video." 

"After the intervention, participants generalized their ability to imagine or execute new movements with their phantom limb. This improvement of visual and kinaesthetic feedback of their phantom limb movements during the intervention could reinforce the consistency between afference (internally seeing and feeling the limb) and the efferent motor command (to move the limb). This is turn could reactivate the motor representation of the missing limb, which may be responsible for a decrease in pain" (Beaumont, Mercier, Michon, Malouin & Jackson 2011, p.297).

Reference: Beaumont, G., Mercier, C., Michon, P., Malouin, F. & Jackson, P.L. 2011, "Decreasing Phantom Limb Pain Through Observation of Action and Imagery: A Case Series", Pain Medicine, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 289-299.


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