Executive Summary of Papers concerning Mirror Visualization Therapy and Mental Imagery
I suggest that the best starting point to look at why mirror box therapy and image visualization therapy works is to read :-
This article is a good introduction to the medicine and concepts, it covers mirror visual feedback and why it theoretically can help for phantom, stroke and crps.
I have split the papers into the clinical problems mirror therapy can be used for. Clearly the area requires significant further research.
My personal view on the therapy is that it certainly doesn’t help everyone (what does?) however it can be very effective in the right patient. The therapy is very easy to teach and use, it has minimal side effect and the costs are solely down to the box costs and therapist’s time.
I urge all my patients to do their normal physiotherapy using a mirror box. The have nothing to lose in doing so and certainly much to gain.
Randomized Controlled Trials
Neurology 2006; 67:2129 2134
Positive result for motor image therapy program in CRPS
Sensibly constructed trial by well known investigators published in good journal.
They used a graded program of visualization therapy (siding hands first, visualization of movement and then mirror therapy).
Pain 108 (2004) 192–198
Positive result published in well-respected journal from sensible investigators.
Controlled Pilot Studies or Case Reports
C. S. McCabe, R. C. Haigh, E. F. J. Ring, P. W. Halligan,
P. D. Wall and D. R. Blake
Trial showed positive result in early but not late CRPS, the P.D. Wall in this group is the late and great Patrick Wall of “Gate Theory of Pain Control” fame.
International Journal of Rehabilitation Research 2007, 30:181–188
Y.I.G. Vladimir Tichelaara, Jan H.B. Geertzenb,c, Doeke Keizerd
This paper describes mixed results in 3 patients in who mirror therapy was tried.
Nikhil Sharma, MB, ChB, MRCP(UK); Valerie M. Pomeroy, PhD; Jean-Claude Baron, MD, FRCP, FmedSci
This article if somewhat technical explains why imagery may help in stroke rehabilitation.
J Rehabilitation Medicine 2007; 39: 5–13
Sjoerd de Vries and Theo Mulder
Another article that explains why imagery may help in stroke rehabilitation.
Stroke Case Reports
Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2003;84:1090-2.
Jennifer A. Stevens, PhD, Mary Ellen Phillips Stoykov, MS
Positive result case report of mirror visualization therapy in a stoke patient.
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair 2000;14:73-76
Sathian, MD, PhD, Arlene. Greenspan, DrPH, PT and Stephen L. Wolf, PhD, FAPTA, PT
An interesting case report of the combination of CBT with mirror therapy describing a positive result.
Disability and Rehabilitation, 2004; Vol. 26, No. 14/15, 901–904
Positive case report of mirror therapy for lower limb phantom limb pain.
Limb Rehabilitation after Surgery
Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg Hand Surg, 2005; 39: 104/108
Birgitta Rosen & Goran Lundborg
3 positive case reports, from an internationally respected hand surgeon, of mirror therapy use in rehabilitation following hand surgery