Phantom Limb Pain Case Study

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In this paper, we will discuss phantom limb pain (PLP) and propose an alternate form of treatment for PLP using prosthetic limbs. We will discuss two key ways in which prosthetics can be improved—through the use of 3D printed materials and the integration of electrical input and feedback systems—and refitted as PLP treatment. We will also describe the practical advantages of using prosthetics as a form of medical treatment and provide criticism of currently used treatment methods, such as mirror therapy and virtual reality (VR) therapy via the Oculus headset. In addition, we will explore four research studies that provide empirical evidence in support of the main argument, which is laid out in the Discussion section.
II. Introduction
Amputation
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Although the direct cause is unclear, PLP is only explainable as a function, albeit a maladaptive one, of the human nervous system (Makin et al., 2013). Though there are many theorized causes, one of the most widely accepted theories is that PLP results from a maladaptive function of the brain’s ability to create neural connections (Dzierla, 2014). The brain perceives the loss of limb as damage to the nervous system and will attempt to adjust to the changes. Therefore, it is likely that the resulting alterations in the brain central nervous system are the primary cause of PLP (Dzierla, 2014). However, in identifying the cause of PLP, researchers sometimes find changes not only in the somatosensory cortex post amputation, but in the amputation area as well. Therefore, both the central and peripheral nervous system (CNS and PNS, respectively) may play a role in PLP occurrence (Dzierla, …show more content…
Furthermore, according to the subjects—10 amputees experiencing PLP—the stimulation felt as though it was originating from a prosthetic limb. This report led researchers to conclude that TENS and similar feedback techniques could be embedded within a prosthetic in order to relieve PLP (Mulvey et al., 2013). The integration of electrical systems into prosthetics is necessary to redefine prosthetics as a form of PLP treatment. Later, we will examine how feedback systems can be further integrated into

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