Phantom Pain is medical term for pain felt by amputees; i.e. whose limb is amputated.
It is considered to be intense and may strike 5 – 6 times an hour. Amputees, to control with Phantom pain, are dosed with heavy narcotic but does little to say it a relief.
Present-day medicine explain it below:
The current thinking is that it has to do with how the brain interprets signals from the pain pathways that are left after amputation.
The neurons that control leg movement are still there, but in the absence of a limb, they are not sure what they’re supposed to do and begin firing randomly. Proprioception, the body’s ability to sense the position of a limb, tells the body that the limb is still there, sending mismatched signals to the brain.
"The visual neurons are still intact, and they’re firing off, telling the brain one thing," Tsao said. "The propriaceptive neurons are firing off, telling the brain something else. …My thinking is that there is some sort of center in the brain that coordinates these signals. … Somehow, this mismatched feedback is what’s generating the sensation that the limb is frozen or in pain."
Dr. V. S. Ramchandran researched a counter phantom pain therapy ‘$20 mirror’; and further implemented by Dr. Tsao, a navy neurologist.
The mirror tricks the brain into "seeing" the amputated leg, overriding mismatched nerve signals.
Here’s how it works: The patient sits on a flat surface with his or her remaining leg straight out and then puts a 6-foot mirror lengthwise facing the limb. The patient moves the leg, flexing it, and watches the movement in the mirror. The reflection creates the illusion of two legs moving together. Thus restricting brain from reading mismatched signal by neurons as a pain sensation.
Army srg. Paupore was a first to try with this therapy and was successfully able to stop the consumption of pain-killers within 5 months.
This therapy is successfully under implementation at few centres. Dr. Tsao offers a free consultation on this therapy over phone and mail to help.