Something we have never ever discussed is 'mirror box therapy'. Just to explain- mirror box therapy is used for chronic regional pain sufferers (CRPS), where the affected limb is placed within a mirror box, such that the unaffected limb is reflected in a way as to make the patient think they are looking at the affected limb' illusory manipulation'. Movement of this reflected normal limb is then performed such that it looks to the patient as though they are performing movement with the affected limb (although it will be pain free due to the fact it is a normal limb being reflected). Following this movement of the normal limb, when the affected limb is moved, levels of pain are reduced and over a longer period significant changes between controls and intervention groups have been shown. Concepts of neural plasticity ie: the ability of nerve cells to restructure and reorganize themselves , within the brain have been hypothesized as to why this effect occurs, and similar mirror therapy has been used successfully to treat some neuropathies (alloydynia, hyperalgesia) and phantom limb pain. There has been a good randomized controlled trial of mirror therapy for CRPS. The results suggest that mirror therapy probably reduces pain and disability in some CRPS sufferers.
What are your thoughts on mirror box therapy ?
Mirror box therapy added to cognitive behavioural therapy in
three chronic complex regional pain syndrome type I patients:
a pilot study