The reviewers concluded that an interdisciplinary approach to the treatment of PLP offers the best chance for improvement in function and pain reduction. Their method includes pharmacological treatment, physical rehabilitation, and psychological support. Because many traditional treatments haven’t consistently resulted in decreased pain and increased functionality, theories involving a more central cause of PLP are gaining support and are leading to creative therapies.
“It is important to understand that evidence is emerging indicating that our brains are more plastic than once thought. Therefore, there is hope that we can focus on this plasticity of the brain to find new ways to treat certain pain conditions including PLP,” the researchers wrote.
They suggest that more research into mirror therapy and virtual reality shows great promise and that novel therapies need to be developed and older ones validated because the condition and its effects warrant significant attention.
The article addresses the pathophysiology of PLP, traditional treatments, pharmacological and interventional therapies, and physical and psychological modalities. The authors concluded with their suggested treatment considerations and included the algorithm they developed that offers a method to address PLP.
To read the review, “An Algorithm Approach to Phantom Limb Pain,” visit Dove Press.