Phantom pain is pain that feels like it is coming from a part of the body that isn’t there. If you are an amputee then you probably know all too well what phantom pain is and if you’re not an amputee and just tuning in to gain a little knowledge I will oblige and let you in on this wonderful (not) thing that us amputees deal with.
Phantom pain can come in all metaphorical shapes and sizes. This includes feeling like you’ve stepped on a piece of glass, though you don’t have a foot. It’s the feeling of hitting your beloved pinky toe on the sharpest corner in the world. Sometimes, it’s even the feeling of the trauma that was the cause of the amputation.
There are many helpful tips and tricks to try and calm that aching phantom pain. With that being said I will list a few tips that I’ve come across in hopes that maybe it will help you too.
Using a shrinker – it helps though sometimes it can have the opposite effect. This can sometimes be due to sensitivity. Or if you are like me and have a skin graft on your residual limb, being that skin grafts are much thinner than your actual skin this can also cause a little discomfort.
Massaging your residual limb may help with your phantom pain as well.
If you are experiencing phantom pain, you should never feel ashamed to speak with your practitioner or seek help from pain management. Phantom pain is real, and it is painful. There are a number of prescription medication that can help as well, one that I’ve personally tried was Gabapentin – I stopped taking this when I became pregnant and would not recommend the use of it if you are pregnant or are trying to conceive.
Best of luck to you!