Mirror therapy versus augmented/virtual reality applications: towards a tailored mechanism-based treatment for phantom limb pain

Andreas Rothgangel, Robin Bekrater-Bodmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Phantom limb pain (PLP) is a clinically relevant consequence of limb amputation and its treatment is still challenging. Mirror therapy, in other words, observing and engaging in the intact limb's mirrored movements, offers a promising, mechanism-based treatment for PLP. However, intervention and patient characteristics, such as the realism of mirrored exercises and perceptions related to the phantom limb, might influence treatment effectiveness. Novel approaches using augmented and virtual reality setups represent an alternative to traditional mirror therapy. In this paper, based on recent studies in the field, we compare both approaches and discuss their unique advantages and disadvantages. We argue for the necessity of a tailored treatment for PLP that is personalized to the patients' characteristics, preferences and psychological needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalPain Management
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • amputation
  • augmented reality
  • mechanism-based treatment
  • mirror therapy
  • personalized medicine
  • phantom limb pain
  • virtual reality
  • INDUCED VISUAL ILLUSIONS
  • CORTICAL REORGANIZATION
  • VIRTUAL-REALITY
  • RUBBER HAND
  • BACK-PAIN
  • FEEDBACK
  • BRAIN
  • BODY
  • AMPUTEES
  • AGENCY

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