As was by a French military surgeon by

As said
earlier, PLP, while having existed for as long as limbs have been removed, we
had only recently developed the technology and knowledge able to understand and
help amputees recently; in fact, the earliest actual medical acknowledgement of
PLP was by a French military surgeon by the name of Ambroise Paré, who lived
between 1510-1590. Following this ‘discovery’, more studies began to pop up as
time went on, such as Charels Bell in 1830, Magendie in 1833, Rhone in 1842, Guéniot
in 1861, and numerous others as time continued. PLP wasn’t given its name until
around 1871, where the term ‘Phantom Limb’ was coined my Mitchell.

An
interesting point in medical history; an alarming majority of those who
suffered PLP and seeked help were told they were mentally disturbed, and sent
to Asylums; and it goes without saying how bad that was. An estimate of about
87% of those who seeked help for their pain were entombed Asylums, which of the
time, were far, far from places which would help with something like PLP.

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While PLP, ‘Phantom
Limb Pain’ is a blanket term for the affliction, it’s not quite accurate. In
the medical field, PLP is broken down into three separate areas and three
different afflictions that are all joined by the phantom limb. These are
Phantom Limb Pain, where pain is felt, Phantom Limb Sensation, where sensation,
but no pain is felt, and Stump Pain, where the pain is in the stump rather than
the Phantom Limb. PLP is, has been, and likely will continue to be a blanket
term to cover all of the afflictions, unless another, more accurate term
appears.

 

 

 

 

Earlier, one
of the solutions stated to assist with PLP was called ‘Mirror Box Therapy’. Mirror
Box Therapy is an interesting, and very effective method; in short, the patient
sits with a mirror facing the remaining limb, moves the limb, and watched the
reflection of the mirror. It is unsure why this works, but it is speculated
that it ‘tricks’ the brain into believing that the limb is not removed.
Whatever the reason is, it is very efficient and doctors using it can both
decrease opioid use and decrease the painful sensations. For the gamers, it
would appear that Virtual Reality can prove to be both an effective and
reliable treatment for mitigating the pain of PLP. Like with the Mirror Box
Therapy, Virtual Reality can trick the brain into thinking that the missing
limb is still there, and that the brain still has full control of it. In fact, Mirror
Box Therapy might even become obsolete as tests into ‘Virtual Reality Therapy’ continue;
after all, both therapies work to correct the pain through similar ways.

As stated
numerous times throughout, we simply do not understand PLP. Phantom limb pain
research is in it’s infancy, and not many solid and reliable methods of curing
it are available to us at the moment. On the bright side, however, this does
mean that methods and theories of mitigating the pain are becoming more and
more common. A few new therapies that have come into existence recently include
Local injection therapy, where a doctor injects some kind of pain-blocking
agent at the stump, which can calm the signals of the nerves and back to the
brain. Another is Nerve cuff stimulation, which is similar, but instead of receiving
an injection, a cuff is place around the stump, and small electrodes send pleasant
signals into the nerves. IN FACT, this particular method of treatment is still undergoing
tests and is actively recruiting participants. So, if you want to help with science, all you need to
do is saw off a limb and go there. Seriously, please don’t do that.

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