Phantom Pain

Phantom pain is a kind of pain that feels like it’s coming from that part of a body that is no longer there. Doctors used to believe that this post-amputation phenomenon was a psychological problem, but today experts recognize that these are real sensations originating in the spinal cord and brain.

However, this kind of sensation is also experienced after surgery. But persistence in phantom pain can be disabling, causing difficulty with post-surgical wound care and eventual prosthesis fitting and use.

Symptoms of phantom pain after an amputation include:

  • Burning
  • Cramping
  • Tingling
  • Aching &
  • Numbness in the area of the affected limb.

This pain overall, gives you a feeling of frustration and depression as your body is unable to function properly.

Following are the treatments that can be suggested in phantom pain:

  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Massage
  • Electrical nerve stimulation
  • Scar tissue removal
  • Physical therapy

Reasons behind Phantom Pain

People who have met accidents or going through post accident problems are victims of phantom pain

  • Bone fractures
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Injuries caused by falling objects


The exact reason of phantom pain is unclear. But it usually starts to appear from the spinal cord and brain. This can be tested during imaging scans. As by performing it, portions of the brain that have been neurologically connected to nerves of the amputated limb show activity when the person feels phantom pain.

For more information regarding Phantom Pain and how it should be treated, feel free to call our office at 815-464-7212.