Phantom Pain: Tricking The Human Brain May Ease Pain Of Missing Limbs

Scientists might one day be able to treat phantom limb pain with engineering instead of drugs. When people lose a limb or a piece of one, they often experience pain that appears to originate from the body part that is missing. “It can feel like a variety of things, such as burning, twisting, itching or pressure,” the Amputee Coalition explains. The phantom pain can last anywhere from minutes to years after an amputation. And those amputations, which affect about 2 million people in the U.S., are not just caused by trauma, but also result from cancer, diabetes and other diseases. There may be hope, however, for people with the chronic — and largely untreatable —  pain condition. A study published in Nature Communications suggests rewiring in the brain is what causes the…


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