J Rehabil Med 2008 Apr;40(4):312-4
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Erasmus MC Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Objective: To describe the use of mirror therapy in 2 patients with complex regional pain syndrome type II following traumatic nerve injury.
Design: Two case reports.
Subjects: Two patients with complex regional pain syndrome type II.
Methods: Two patients received mirror therapy with the painful hand hidden behind the mirror while the non-painful hand was positioned so that, from the perspective of the patient, the reflection of this hand was "superimposed" on the painful hand. Pain was measured with a visual analogue scale.
Results: The first case had developed a severe burning and constant pain in the hand due to a neuroma. In this patient, a strong reduction in pain was found during and immediately after mirror therapy. As a result, the patient was able to perform active exercises that were previously too painful. However, despite the pain relief during and directly after the exercises, the overall level of pain did not decrease. The second patient also had severe burning pain following a glass injury. In this patient, repeated mirror therapy for a 3-month period strongly decreased pain due to causalgia.
Conclusion: The presented cases demonstrate that the use of mirror therapy in patients with causalgia related to a neuroma is worthy of further exploration as a potential treatment modality in patients with causalgia.