Thanks to some great responses to my last post about my phantom limb pain, I learned about an incredible thing called mirror therapy. Mirror therapy is becoming a widely used technique for dealing with phantom limb pain, and after trying it I have been able to change the position that my phantom leg has felt locked in for the first time since my surgery!
My awesome mom went out and got me this mirror today so that I can benefit from this great technique. Basically it works just by tricking your brain. You put the mirror so that it looks like you are looking at your missing leg. You then move your two legs so that it feels like the reflection you see moving is actually your missing leg. I can’t move my phantom ankle, but I can make my leg feel like it is swinging at the knee, so I do that motion with my phantom leg, and simultaneously copy the motion with my real leg. The result is that my brain feels my leg moving and it sees it moving in the mirror. It starts to associate what I see in the mirror as my phantom leg. My toes start uncurling and the pain in the arch of my foot goes away. I can just sit and look at my reflected leg for a while and the pain in my phantom leg disappears.
When I am not looking at it in the mirror the pain still comes and goes, but it is much better than it was! The fact that there are actually times that my toes don’t feel painfully crossed and my leg is straight rather than bent at the knee is pretty cool, especially considering all I did was look in a mirror for a little while. Thanks for finding this guys, it really helps a lot!