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Understanding phantom limb pain

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2022 | Personal Injury

Following an amputation, you may start experiencing pain that feels like it’s coming from the missing limb. This is known as phantom limb pain, and it can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that could affect your everyday life.

Here is what you need to know about this condition that affects a significant number of amputees.

What causes phantom limb pain?

Phantom limb pain was previously thought to be psychological, but doctors have since established that it is real. While the exact cause is still unclear, experts point to a mix-up in the nervous system as the reason behind the condition. Other causes may include scarred or damaged nerves during the amputation procedure.

How long does it last?

The pain begins soon after amputation, and it can last for several days or even months. In some cases, it tends to decrease with time as the brain gets used to the missing limb.

Is phantom limb pain treatable?

Phantom limb pain can be treated using various techniques. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers or other medication to help manage the pain. Alternative treatments that send electrical impulses to the brain, such as neurostimulation or spinal cord stimulation, could also help.

Living with phantom limb pain

Living with chronic pain can be challenging. You may have to constantly be under medication and the pain could significantly lower your quality of life. It might even be hard to continue working if the pain is extreme. In the long run, your mental health could also be affected.

Getting justice

You deserve compensation for the pain and suffering brought about by conditions like phantom limb pain and the financial cost of managing it. If another person’s negligence led to an amputation, your personal injury claim needs to cover such unforeseen effects of your injuries.