Whether the body part is amputated because of a traumatic injury or underlying medical condition these patients have to deal with phantom limb pain issues. Every person who undergoes amputation will feel sensations that are interpreted by the brain as coming from the amputated limb. In some folks the sensations gradually decrease; while others have experience such bad sensations that it impacts their lives on a daily basis. Phantom limb pain is a neurological phenomena that happens because the nervous system is already wired and when impulses travel from the peripheral nervous system into the central nervous system they are interpreted by the sensory part of the brain as originating in the intact limb.
What are the Symptoms Associated with Phantom Limb Pain?
- Feeling like ants are crawling on the limb
Some injured people can feel all of these symptoms other feel one or two of these symptoms. Many patients deal with phantom limb pain in many different ways. I had one client tell me that when she started to experience a feeling where her limb used to be – she would simulate rubbing the area or scratching the area and that would shut off the discomfort.
Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain
As with anything else, I have had some clients do pretty well with treatment and others who treatment provides no benefit. Treatments range from physical stimulation or exercise, to biofeedback, mirrors, medication, and injections of medications into area of the spinal cord.
Phantom limb pain can become a real issue for amputees. I believe that part of my job as an attorney who represents these patients is to counsel them on the types of treatments available and different healthcare providers that may be able to assist with the condition. Many times, folks who lose their limbs in an accident feel lost, depressed and give up on their condition. If I am able to help folks cope with these issues it can result in a much better outcome for them in the long run.
If you have any questions about a Florida amputation injury, call Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD at (352) 267-9168.