Effectiveness of Phantom Exercises For Phantom Limb Pain: A Pilot Study
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Objective: To investigate the effects of phantom limb exercises on phantom limb pain. Methods: A total of 20 traumatic amputees participated in the study. Ten received phantom exercises and prosthetic training, and 10 were treated with routine prosthetic training and a general exercise programme. Intensity of pain was evaluated using a 10-cm visual analogue scale before therapy and after 4 weeks of therapy. Results: Baseline scores on the visual analogue scale were similar between the groups. Pain intensity decreased in all subjects after 4 weeks of treatment in both groups. According to the visual analogue scale scores at the end of 4 weeks, the phantom exercises group differed significantly from the general exercise group (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Phantom exercises appear to be effective in reducing phantom pain, but further research is required to confirm this. The results of this study indicate that phantom exercises can be used safely to alleviate phantom limb pain in lower and upper limb amputees.