Treating phantom limb pain following amputation: the potential role of a traditional and teletreatment approach to mirror therapy

Andreas Stefan Rothgangel

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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People after an amputation often feel severe pain in the amputated limb. Mirror therapy is then a promising treatment. By looking at movements of the intact limb in the mirror, it appears as if the amputated limb is present again. This can reduce the pain. In this project, a framework for mirror therapy and an online platform has been developed together with patients, therapists and technicians that supports people after a leg amputation to perform the exercises independently and at home. An effect study shows that mirror therapy, but also exercises without a mirror, can reduce pain. The online platform appears to have little additional influence on pain, but is perceived by patients as a benefit in terms of autonomy.

This research was conducted within the lectorates Autonomy and Participation of the chronically ill and the lectorate Nutrition, Lifestyle and Exercise of Zuyd Hogeschool Heerlen and the rehabilitation medicine department at Maastricht University.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Smeets, Rob, Supervisor
  • Beurskens, A.J.H.M., Supervisor
  • Braun, Susy M., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date25 Jun 2019
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789463236973
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Amputation
  • phantom pain
  • tele-rehabilitation
  • Digital health
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Framework
  • Physiotherapy

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