Phantom Limb Pain

Length: 6 Pages 1385 Words

Phantom Limb Pain Over the years scientists have noted many complaints of a strange form of pain called phantom limb pain. This pain is strange because it is located in an appendage that no longer exists. By many of the amputees the pain is described as totally unbearable. For the amputee population this is a very real problem that definitely needs to be solved. Pain and other sensation in an amputated or absent limb, are well-known phenomena. Nearly all amputees experience vivid phantom limb (PL) sensations, and up to two-thirds of these patients experience phantom pain even 25 years after the loss of the limb (cite). The vivid experience of a PL often includes non-painful phantom sensations as, which are frequently reported in patients with phantom pain (cite). Some amputees will not voluntarily mention phantom pain or sensations since they think that their mind is simply playing tricks on them. However, this pain actually means that the part of the brain, which has always felt that limb, is still reporting some sensations to the rest of the brain. What the thinking part of the brain knows (that the limb is gone) may be different from what the feeling part of the brain reports (that the nonexistent limb is being squeeze Continue...

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Also verified was the absence of contractions in the rectus-femoris when each amputee was asked to move the nonexistent foot. This comes in agreement with experimental data showing that injured afferent A and C myelinated fibers ending in neuromas display larger firing rates with increased temperature. Their results were that all the amputees displayed brain activation in motor area 4 and premotor area 6. They found that in subjects without phantom sensations the time since the amputation was longer as compared with subjects who did not experience phantom sensations suggests that phantom sensations may fade away over time. Taken together, all these indexes show the consistently increased stress reactivity of PLP patients during! free speech about the amputation event. Kooijman et al (2000), studied the factors associated with phantom pain and phantom sensation in upper limb amputees in the Netherlands. The lower limb, although artificial is still sensed as "being there. Also, fitting a prosthesis immediately after amputation while the patient is still under anesthesia and then contiguisly beginning vibratory stimulus training may permit the preserv!ation of perception in the sensory cortex and become an important factor in avoiding pain. The most commonly reported phantom sensations were cold, electric sensations and movement of the phantom limb (cite). The Kooijman group's explanation was that phantom pain could be considered as a form of phantom sensation with a high intensity. Many amputees report that it becomes much less frequent as time goes along; however, when it recurs it may be just as bothersome as when it was first experienced. Despite an almost electromyographically silent thigh, the fact that the brain was being activated during the command for movement demonstrates that these signals surged due to the amputee's strong efforts resulting in alteration of the barin's oxygenated hemoglobin. Phantom limb patients in the Angrilli study were found by higher stump temperature compared with phantom limb pain-free patients. A significant association was found between the prevalence of human pain and phantom sensations. Often phantom pain diminishes a lot in its severity over time.


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deep in the body -visceral pain - pain in an organ -referred pain - pain felt in one place but originating in another -phantom pain - pain in a limb/digit that (7880 32 )