Various methods have been used to treat phantom limb pain. Doctors may prescribe medications to reduce the pain. Some antidepressants or antiepileptics have been shown to have a beneficial effect on reducing phantom limb pain. Often physical methods such as light massage, electrical stimulation, and hot and cold therapy have been used with variable results.
There are many different treatment options for phantom limb pain that are actively being researched. Most treatments do not take into account the mechanisms underlying phantom pains, and are therefore ineffective. However, there are a few treatment options that have been shown to alleviate pain in some patients, but these treatment options usually have a success rate less than 30% (Bittar et al., 2005). It is important to note that this rate of success does not exceed the placebo effect. It is also important to note that because the degree of cortical reorganization is proportional to phantom limb pains, any perturbations to the amputated regions may increase pain perception (Bittar et al., 2005).
Read more about this topic: Phantom Pain
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