Amputation and Chronic Phantom Pain
Date: 01st June 2022 | By: Dr Lourdes Gaspar
This is a really helpful article explaining phantom sensations and chronic pain in people who have sadly had an amputation of a limb or body part.
All too often there is a focus on the “disability” and how to overcome it but many amputees say that this is the not their main issue but the constant unrelenting pain they experience.
In approximately 85% of amputees, at some time feel their limb or body is still present but they also experience pain in the amputated area.
The descriptions vary from burning sensations and pins and needles to the more bizarre such as feeling as though they have been struck with a cattle prod leading to violent jolts of electricity or a sense that there are insects crawling within the missing area.
Sadly there is all too often disbelief at these types complaints with many people questioning how it is possible to experience pain in an area that is no longer there!
We are able to explain these types of reported symptoms through our understanding of pain neurobiology and the concepts of central sensitisation and brain mapping described in this article.
Sadly too, these types of pain problems are often refractive medical treatment and cause enormous emotional distress, anxiety, depression and fear of the future.
Our program, www.ACTforPAIN.com is proving helpful in addressing the psychological and mental turmoil that comes with living with chronic pain through a structured practical program taking sufferers on a journey to acceptance when a major life changing event such as amputation of a body part occurs.