Society

Phantom Pain Phenomenon

When a tragic accident occurs, and someone is hurt very badly, they might require an amputation to one body part. An amputation can also be used in order to prevent an infection from spreading throughout the body. Amputations are already life changing, but there is a phenomenon called, Phantom Pain phenomena, where the place the amputation occurred, starts to hurt. This is a rare phenomenon only because it can only occur in amputees, thus the chances are pretty low. However, among amputees, the probability of Phantom Pain Phenomenon is very high, about eight out of ten amputees get phantom pain.

At first, doctors used to believe that this pain was all psychological, since the pain was coming from a body part not there anymore. However, as time progressed, researchers realized that it was a mix of both psychological and physical reactions that cause this phenomenon. Experts don’t know exactly what causes phantom pain, however, they think that the nerves in the brain that were connected to the amputated limb are rewired and thus send pain signals because they think something is wrong. It doesn’t recognize that the body part is no longer there.

Some symptoms of phantom pain include bruising, bone infection, and poor blood flow. often times, the pain experienced by people with phantom pain is continuous. Even feelings like temperature, pressure, and vibration can be felt from the amputated limb. Thus, phantom pain is not something that can be looked past on.

So how do you cure phantom pain? Well there is no definitive cure for phantom pain yet, as the cause is not known for sure. However, professionals recommended that amputees that have phantom pain should seek therapists that can help with the pain. Most likely the therapists will prescribe some medication for the patient and that can help suppress the nerves and cover the pain a little bit. For example, pain killers like opioids are used to suppress the pain and the nerves.

Overall, phantom pain wreaks havoc on people already struggling with other pains. This pain cannot be fully cured because of the insufficient information surrounding the cause. The amputees do not deserve all the pain that these phenomenon causes, as it may even bring back terrible traumas connected to the limb that was amputated. Hopefully, more light is shed on this topic and more research can be done to remove this obstacle that is the phantom pain phenomenon.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/phantom-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20376272

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/phantom-limb-pain

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12092-phantom-limb-pain

Categories: Society