Thursday, November 18, 2010

Phantom Pain

Phantom pain, or phantom sensations, is an issue that impacts many amputees. I have discovered that the best fitting socket in the world doesn't alleviate those pesky "phantom pains" which, for me at least, manifest themselves at night. There are a myriad of pharmaceutical treatments, but other amputees have found relief through alternative methods.

Although I haven't completely eliminated the phantom pains, I have greatly reduced their intensity and frequency. I also have a problem with my limb "kicking" at night, involuntarily and sometimes quite rapidly. My husband is thrilled that I have come up with a way to quiet the "cricket leg."

I have started using the HoMedics Shiatsu Massaging Pillow at night. I have found that the deep circular massage, for 15 to 20 minutes every night, treats the stump soreness and drastically decreases the phantom pain issues. For me, the deep massage makes the pain and stinging fade enough so that I can sleep. The pillow was the best $20 I've spent in a long time!

Have you found a non-pharmaceutical treatment for phantom pain? How do you deal with this pain which, as many amputees know, is anything but "phantom?"

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