Phantom Limb Phenomenon: The Effects of Unattributed Causality Essay

Phantom Limb Phenomenon: The Effects of Unattributed Causality Essay

Length: 2088 words (6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Amputees for centuries have reported a prolonged presence and feeling of their amputated limb or body part after it has been removed. This phenomenon has preempted what is understood as the phantom limb phenomenon, which is currently accepted as a natural consequence of amputation (Hill, 1999). Most common reports are found amputations of the arms and legs yet reported experiences have been documented post-amputation in other areas such as the breast, penis, eye, teeth and bladder (Giummarra, Gibson, Georgiou-Karistianis, & Bradshaw, 2007; Nicolelis, 2008).
Phantom limb sensation, phantom limb pain and pain in the residual limb are unique areas of this phenomenon and often the terms are misused. Pain in the residual limb is often confused with the phantom phenomenon yet it actually refers to the pain felt in the physical area above the level of amputation (Hill, 1999). However, phantom limb sensation (PLS) is described as any non-painful sensation that is presented where the limb is no longer present (Hill, 1999; Wilkins, McGrath, Finley & Katz, 1998). Conversely, phantom limb pain (PLP) is characterized as burning, tingling, throbbing, cramping, squeezing, shocking or shooting pains experienced where the limb is no longer present (Modirian, Shojaei, Soroush & Masoumi, 2009).
For pain in particular, many treatments have been created to ease the pain, but none have been successful at curing the pain (Modirian et al., 2009). One particularly popular treatment option is that of mirror treatment. In mirror treatment, an individual with an amputation is placed at a table with a mirror that is placed along the individual’s midline (Ramachandran & Rogers-Ramachandran, 2008). With the intact limb symmetrically positioned with the phant...

... middle of paper ...

...Hill, A. (1999). Phantom Limb Pain: A Review of the Literature on Attribute and Potential Mechanisms. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 17, 125-139. doi:10.1016/S0885-3924(98)00136-5
Kapoor, S. (2010). Phantom pain: emerging new therapeutic options. Disability and Rehabilitation, 32, 429. doi:10.3109/096328280903567901
Modirian, E., Shojaei, H., Soroush, M. R., & Masoumi, M. (2009). Phantom pain in bilateral upper limb amputation. Disability and Rehabilitation, 31, 1878-1881. doi:10.1080/09638280902810976
Nicolelis, M. (2008). Living with Ghostly Limbs. Scientific American Mind, 18, 52-59.
Ramachandaran, V., & Rogers-Ramachandran, D. (2008). Touching Illusions. Scientific American Mind, 18, 14-16.
Wilkins, K. L., McGrath, P. J., Finley, A., & Katz J. (1998). Phantom limb sensations and phantom limb pain in child and adolescent amputees. Pain, 78, 7-12.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Helping Phantom Limb Pain Essay examples

- Helping Phantom Limb Pain Over the years scientists have noted many complaints of a strange form of pain called phantom limb pain. This pain is strange because it is located in an appendage that no longer exists. By many of the amputees the pain is described as totally unbearable. Phantom limb pain has even driven some victims crazy. For the amputee population this is a very real problem that definitely needs to be solved. After James Peacock had his right arm amputated last December, he expected some difficulties....   [tags: Phantom Limb Pain Medical Health Essays]

Term Papers
1490 words (4.3 pages)

Amputation: A Phantom Limb Essay

- ... They recorded the number and duration of pain episodes and the intensity of pain. It was found that pain intensity decreased with mirror treatment, as well as the number and duration of pain episodes. After 4 weeks of treatment, all of patients in the mirror group reported a decrease in pain. In the covered-mirror group, one patient reported a decrease in pain, whereas the other patients reported worsening pain. In the mental-visualization group, two patients reported a decrease in pain, while four patients reported worsening pain.(6) Overall the study proved that mirror therapy was the most successful form of treatment of the three tested treatments....   [tags: cramping, shooting, burning]

Term Papers
1566 words (4.5 pages)

Phantom Limb Pain Essay

- I have been interested in working with patients that are amputees for some time. I was interested to find out if mirror therapy actually worked for those patients that have phantom limb pain. The treatment seems to be very simple and from the few videos I had seen before my research, it was very effective. According to several different websites, patients that have had an amputation the likelihood of them having phantom limb pain is between 50% and 80% of all amputees. This is a huge number and if mirror therapy is actually effective it could help reduce this debilitating pain in hundreds if not thousands of patients....   [tags: Health, therapy]

Term Papers
1138 words (3.3 pages)

Phantom Limb and Anasognosia Syndromes Essay

- Every minute of the day, our brain receives an excessive amount of information about what the body is experiencing. It is continuously working with various sensations, some of which we aren’t even consciously aware of (Mehling et al., 2009). The brain does this so well that we become accustomed to trusting everything it tells us. Our own body and self-awareness is based on this communication and feedback from the brain. Self awareness is a multifaceted concept that involves the ability to focus on and be aware of internal and external bodily sensations in regards to oneself and their place in the world around them (Mehling et al., 2009)....   [tags: chronic pain, brain functions, abnormal syndromes]

Term Papers
1577 words (4.5 pages)

Understanding Phantom Limb Pain Essay

- Imagine a man – refer to him as John* – who lost his left arm after a horrible tractor accident. Shortly after his amputation, John begins feeling strange sensations where his arm previously existed, namely excruciating pain, akin to something ripping his flesh apart. Despite the empty space, he feels his arm; the sensations seem so realistic that he almost believes his arm remains attached to his shoulder. Is John mad. Obviously his left arm no longer exists, so how could he feel pain in that empty space....   [tags: sensations, brain, amputations]

Term Papers
654 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Phantoms in the Brain by V.S. Ramachadran

- V.S. Ramachandran’s Phantoms in the Brain is a well-written book for what he believes to be the causes for some neurological theories and mysteries. He covers many syndromes such as Phantom Limb syndrome, the Capgras Delusion, Cotard’s Syndrome, Hemi-neglect, Blind-sight, Motion blindness, Anosognosia, multi-personality disorder, and the Zombie with in each of us. When he talks about these syndromes he is arguing for the theory of not having a soul because it is not physically tangible and using the neurological theory of consciousness to prove said argument....   [tags: neurological theories, phantom limb syndrome]

Term Papers
1007 words (2.9 pages)

Mirror Therapy Used for Treating Phantom Limb Pain Essay

- 1. Introduction: Pain is defined as unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage .It is the most common reason for physician consultation in the United States. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, and can significantly interfere with a person's quality of life and general functioning. Pain can be devided as physical or pscychological pain according to its cause. physical pain can be divided into nociceptive and non nociceptive pain according to pain arising place....   [tags: Medical Science]

Term Papers
2615 words (7.5 pages)

Essay on Describing Phantom Limb Experience

- Describing Phantom Limb Experience Of people who have had body parts amputated, about 80 percent experience some sort of phantom limb sensation. This experience, which can range from severe shooting pain to merely feeling the presence of the absent limb, most often occurs in amputees but sometimes manifests itself in individuals whose limbs have been missing since birth. The sensations patients experience are not necessarily of the same strength, location, or duration from occurrence to occurrence, and the frequency of episodes often fluctuates over time....   [tags: Biology Essays Research Papers]

Term Papers
870 words (2.5 pages)

Analysis Of Phantom Of The Opera Essay example

- Phantom of the Opera is the longest running musical to date, as it has been touring non-stop for 28 years. Phantom is known as being a tremendously heart wrenching performance that centers around a love triangle and angst. The love triangle involves Christine Daae, Raoul, and the Phantom, who is also known as Erik. Christine came to the Opera Populaire as a young child where she grew up mastering the arts when her father passed. The Phantom was a man deformed at birth and was shown in a freak show until he eventually ran away as child and found shelter in the lake beneath the Opera House, where he found Christine and became captivated with her....   [tags: The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber]

Term Papers
1038 words (3 pages)

Phantom Limb Pain: Mirror Therapy vs. Motor Imagery Essay examples

- Many amputees suffer from phantom limb, and phantom pain. Phantom limb can be described as the sensation of still having a certain body part and is moving accordingly (e.g. arm or leg) after the extremity has been amputated. People who experience phantom limb usually experience phantom pain, which is when the nerves at the end of amputated area cause pain or when a phantom limb seems stuck in an awkward or painful position. Ramachandran is a leading researcher in the field of phantom pain, and has done much research on mirror therapy and mirror neurons....   [tags: amputees, therapy, neurons, motor, imagery]

Free Essays
669 words (1.9 pages)