How is phantom limb pain treated?
Treatment is usually based on the amount of pain the patient is feeling, and multiple treatments may be combined. Usually, the best approach is to combine multiple treatments. Some treatments include:
- Heat application.
- Biofeedback to reduce muscle tension.
- Relaxation techniques.
- Massage of the amputation area.
- Surgery to remove scar tissue entangling a nerve.
- Physical therapy.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) of the stump.
- Neurostimulation techniques such as spinal cord stimulation or deep brain stimulation in extreme cases.
In some instances, medications may need to be administered in combination for optimal pain control. Medications, which are used to diminish and control phantom pain, include:
- Opioid and non-opioid analgesics.
- Tricyclic antidepressants.
- Sodium channel blockers.