Essay about Treating Phantom Limbs

991 Words 4 Pages
Limited understanding of phantom limbs hinders the effectiveness of treating phantom sensations and pain. There are several theories as to the causes of phantom limbs only two main areas central and peripheral nervous system. The main three treatments are cognitive-behavioral therapy with extinction, pharmaceuticals and mirror therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy retrains the brain to use extinction to perceive the limb is gone. Pharmaceuticals are the most common way of treating conditions and easier to show evidence. Mirror therapy is a newer and becoming commonly associated treatment for phantom limb pain. Cognitive-behavioral therapy shows promise with less risk of side effects by the two persuasive and evidence backed treatments. …show more content…
The cognitive-behaviour aspect of treatment helps to train for effective coping and pain management in order for the patient to take control (Moseley et al., 2012). Often the patient’s feelings of hopelessness reinforce the pain, so it is import to teach effective strategies (Moseley et al., 2012). This control allows for a patient to improve their lives by giving them the power over themselves. Cognitive-behaviour therapy leads to the ability for the brain to recognize the loss which is paramount for extinction. Extinction has to be done in various situations to prevent relapse, especially in different environments (Moseley et al., 2012). Extinction of the phantom limb is the desired result and may be made more effective by the use of cannabinoids (Moseley et al., 2012). There is limited information on the effectiveness and little documentation on the specific effectiveness of the cannabinoid by itself in the treatment of phantom limbs. Cognitive-behaviour therapy with extinction is a long treatment and even without extinction there are positive outlook can give a better quality of life and can be used with other treatments (Moseley et al., 2012). Cognitive-behaviour therapy does not require drugs, but may prove more effective with one that does not even make the list of pharmaceuticals.

Reluctance in using cannabis in treatment and therefore excluded from most of the experiments shows a bias to drugs deemed acceptable by the medical profession. There is not much

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