The researchers noted that patients with amputations often have multiple comorbidities and multiple risk factors for the development of chronic pain from a pain medicine perspective. The experience of severe pain, peripheral, spinal, and cortical sensitization mechanisms, and changes in the body scheme contribute to chronic phantom limb pain. Psychosocial factors may also affect the course and the severity of the pain.
According to the study, scientific evidence for best practices is weak. The authors suggested that restoring the body scheme and integration of sensorimotor input are important in addressing phantom limb pain, and that modern techniques, including apps and virtual reality, can supplement approaches based on mirror therapy. Targeted prosthesis care can also help with limb function and reshape the body scheme. They also suggest further discussion about prevention and treatment of severe post-operative pain, early integration of pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions, foresight in surgical planning and technique, and appropriate interdisciplinary management.