Phantom limb pain or PLP occurs when painful sensations seem to originate from a limb that has been amputated. At the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia, we offer specialized pain management treatments that can relieve phantom limb pain for men and women in Kingsland and Brunswick.
What is Phantom Limb Pain?
Phantom limb pain happens after a limb amputation when someone still experiences phantom sensations from the amputated limb. Up to 80% of people who have had a limb amputated feel these “ghost” sensations. Unfortunately, most of the sensations are pain.
Even though the limb is gone, nerve endings attached to the limb can keep sending pain signals to the brain. The brain’s memory of the limb may also be interpreted as pain signals. It’s believed that nerves in the brain and spinal cord are “rewired” when they lose signals from a lost limb which causes them to send pain signals, a general response when your body knows something is wrong.
In some cases, the pain goes away on its own. For many people, however, phantom limb pain is severe and long-lasting.
What Are the Symptoms of Phantom Limb Pain?
Phantom limb pain can feel like pins and needles, a crushing sensation, a shooting pain, a burning sensation, or like an electric shock. In addition to pain, you may also feel other sensations from the limb that is no longer there like vibration, pressure, itchiness, movement, cold, or heat.
This phantom pain usually starts within a week of amputation, although it may take months to occur. The pain may be continuous or come and go. The pain often seems to come from the part of the limb that is farthest from your body, such as the fingers of an amputated arm.
How is Phantom Limb Pain Treated in Brunswick?
At the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia, we offer specialized pain treatments that are designed to block nerves from transmitting pain to the brain or intercept these signals. The following procedures can offer significant relief from phantom limb pain.
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
- This procedure involves implanting a small device close to peripheral nerves to deliver rapid electrical impulses. This can help train the brain to ignore or disable pain signals.
- Epidural Steroid Block
- Epidural nerve blocks can be invaluable in treating phantom limb pain. This injection is given near the spine where the painful nerves originate.
If you are dealing with phantom limb pain, the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia can help with effective pain management solutions to ease your pain. We proudly welcome men and women in Brunswick and Kingsland, Georgia. Contact us today to learn more about your treatment options.