Phantom limb pain is pain that is felt in the area where an arm or leg has been amputated. Although the limb is gone, the nerve endings at the site of the amputation continue to send pain signals to the brain that make the brain think the limb is still there.
Treating PLP effectively takes a multipronged approach. Medications of several different categories in combination with non-medication treatments seem to be most effective. This combination of medication/non-medication is similar to treating other painful conditions. For instance, if you broke your leg, you would expect to take narcotic pain medication, at least for a while. You would also elevate your leg and put ice on it.
For PLP pain management, you will take medications directed specifically toward interrupting the pain signals in your brain or spinal cord as well as using certain non-medication therapies, which also work on your brain’s interpretation of these signals.