What is Phantom Limb Pain?
Phantom limb pain or PLP occurs when a part of a limb is amputated due to disease, accidents, or injuries. They need to see a pain specialist when the pain recurs and try to undergo an advanced pain management. Patients that experience phantom limb pain describes the pain as if the amputated limb is still there.
Pain is usually felt by patients soon after the surgery but it can take weeks or months before it is felt. The level of pain and duration differs from patient to patient. While some diminish after a few months on itself, some experience the pain for the rest of their lives.
Phantom limb pain is a huge problem. Most amputees experience this but are hesitant to ask for treatment thinking that it is only their imagination. Patients describe phantom limb pain like shooting, burning, cramping, like touching needles, and more. It is very challenging to manage and working together with a doctor is highly recommended.
Why does phantom limb pain occur?
Medical researches cannot say exactly what causes phantom limb pain. Doctors used to believe that pain is a psychological effect from the amputation. However, most studies now say that signals between the head and the spinal cord become mixed up after a limb is amputated.
Phantom limb pain is usually triggered by physical activities. While a part of the amputated limb moves, the brain senses that there is something wrong since a limb is missing which triggers it to send pain signals.
How is phantom limb pain treated?
Pain from PLP is managed by using pain medications and therapy. Since the pain experience is different in each patient, recommended treatment plans may differ as well. Pain medication may depend on the pain sensation that is felt and how it affects daily activities. Therapies may focus on trying to fix the broken signals of the brain and spinal cord when certain movements are being made.
Phantom limb pain treatment at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic
Most people experiencing PLP are afraid to get treatment because they are afraid people will not believe them that they are experiencing pain in areas of their body that doesn’t exist anymore. In AZ Pain Medicine Clinic, we openly listen to our patients because we know how pain can affect them physically and mentally.
If you are experiencing PLP or have been diagnosed with PLP before but did not get the proper treatment, our staff at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic can help. Schedule an appointment with one of our pain doctors and so you can get the right pain management plan for you.
You may contact us at (844) 999-2976 or you may leave a message at our Contact Form and one of our staff will get back to you immediately.