Phantom limb and phantom limb pain control are pivotal points in the sequence of intervention to bring the amputee to functional autonomy. The alterations of perception and sensation, the pain of the residual limb and the phantom limb are therefore aspects of amputation that should be taken into account in the "prise en charge" of these patients. Within the more advanced physical therapies to control phantom and phantom limb pain there is the use of mirrors (mirror therapy). This article willfocus on its use and on the possible side effects induced by the lack of patient selection and a conflict of body schema restoration through mirror therapy with concurrent prosthetic training and trauma acceptance. Advice on the need to select patients before treatment decisions, with regard to their psychological as well as clinical profile (including time since amputation and clinical setting), and the need to be aware of the possible adverse effects matching different and somehow conflicting therapeutic approaches, are put forward. Thus a coordinated sequence of diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic procedures carried out by an interdisciplinary rehabilitation team that works globally on all patients' problems is fundamental in the management of amputees and phantom limb pain. Further studies and the development of a multidisciplinary network to study this and other applications of mirror therapy are needed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Mirror, mirror of the wall: mirror therapy in the treatment of phantom limbs and phantom limb pain|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1 2015|
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