Phantom pain causes and recommended treatment


Phantom pain was once considered as illusory as it arises from the parts of the body that has been already removed. The phantom pain was called a psychological problem, now physicians admit it as a real syndrome and sensation that initiates from the vertebral column and brain

Though phantom pain is mostly complained by the candidates who had their arm or leg prior eliminated, this pain can also be seen after medical procedures by removing other body parts

In some cases the phantom pain is recovered without any therapy, however, in some cases the phantom pain becomes a threat

Outlining a perfect therapy for phantom pain might be difficult, the physicians traditionally initiate the treatment with medications and pain killers, and can advise for non invasive treatments, that may include acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation(TENS) other recommendations may include surgery or slightly invasive therapies including injections or infused devices


The medications that are usually given for phantom pain are pain relievers including;

  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Narcotics
  • NSAIDs

Noninvasive therapies

As with the drugs recommended to treat phantom pain, the non invasive therapies are also not a permanent pain relieving remedy, however, several therapies can be adopted including;

Nerve stimulation

The procedure is known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is done with adhesive strips attached to the parts of the body where pain is observed the strips are responsible for passing a very weak voltage of current  that retards the  pain signals from reaching the brain


The acupuncture therapy has been potentially helpful in relieving severe chronic pain, the procedure is carried by inserting very  thin, sterilized needles into some certain points of your body. The acupuncture is supposed to stimulate the nervous system of the body that is responsible for releasing natural pain relieving hormones called endorphins

Minimally invasive therapies

Injections; including steroid injections, pain killers, local anesthetics

Spinal cord stimulation: by passing a small amount of electric current directly into the spinal cord relives phantom pain

Nerve block; interrupts with the pain indicators carrying signals from area of phantom pain to the brain


Surgery can be the last option when all the other traditional treatments have failed;

Brain stimulation surgery; similar to spinal cord stimulation the current is passed directly to the brain by placing small electrodes with the MRI, This therapy is considered as a promising treatment for several candidates