Phantom Pain (PLP)- Pain felt in a region of the body that no longer existent.

Phantom sensation- Occurs in three categories:
1. Kinetic sensation: Perceived movement
2. Kinesthetic components: Size, shape and position of the missing body part.
3. Exteroceptive perceptions: Touch, pressure, temperature, itch, and vibration.

According to Shermans Phantom Pain can be further divided into four domains
1. Intensity of pain sensations
2. Frequency of episodes
3. Duration of each episode
4. Description of the pain

Symptoms:

Patients convey a wide range of symtoms including burning, cramping and tingling. Pain may last up to a few seconds to a couple of hours. PLP occurs immediately after an amputation or within 24 hours.

Treatment: Effective treatments can for PLP can be broken down into 3 categories

Pharmacological: Medication can be used for intervention of Phantom pain such as opioids. Despite the controversy with Opioids to treat acute pains, Opiods are the most common drug to be used. Antidepressants may also be beneficial for pain control.

Rehabilitation: Electrical nerve stimulation is benefit in controlling phantom pain. Muscle relaxation helps the patients learn to become more aware of how their body responds to the phantom limb pain and control.

Psychological: Training in mental imagery and feedback with mirrors.


Boston amputees on phantom pain and finding strength
Boston Bombing

Graphics:

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Citations/References:
http://paindoctor.com/conditions/common/phantom-limb-pain/
http://sunburst.usd.edu/~cliff/Courses/Advanced%20Seminars%20in%20Neuroendocrinology/Pain/Weeks10.pdf