Phantom Limb and Mirror Therapy


This Mirror Box Therapy article is designed to provide a lay explanation of Phantom Limb Pain. Whilst this website advocates the use of Mirror Therapy for Phantom Limb pain we are not giving specific medical advice. For such advice you should consult your GP or your specialist.

The term Phantom Limb has been bounding around for about 130 years but interesting enough, proper study of phantom limbs stared only about 15 years ago.

Stable definition of Phantom Limb

Phantom limb syndrome: The perception of sensations, usually including pain, in an arm or leg after the limb has been amputated. The brain still gets messages from the nerves that originally carried impulses from the missing limb. Phantom limb syndrome is relatively common in amputees, especially in the early months and years after limb loss.

Use of Mirror Therapy with Phantom Limb

Mirror Box Therapy is a drug free alternative to neuropathic medications. Mirror Therapy is visualisation that the amputated limb is actually present and remapping the brain to help deal with the physical loss of the limb. The visual feedback provided from exercises with a Mirror Box is almost as physical as touch itself. The visualisation of a limb where only sensation may have been present is reassuring and should be considered in most therapeutic environments.

Additional Resources

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